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TROY, MI-The Home Depot, Inc. has completed the purchase of 18 Kmart stores from Kmart Holding Corp., for an aggregate purchase prices of $271 million. On Aug. 10, Kmart and the Home Depot announced an agreement that provided for the sale of no fewer than 13 stores for $173 million in cash, and up to 19 stores for $288.5 million in cash.

Kmart says it anticipates sale proceeds in the amount totaling $259 million from 17 of the stores by the completion of the current fiscal quarter. The first three stores Kmart is selling to Home Depot will close later this month. They are in Hanover, PA; New Milford, CT; and Champaign, IL. Stores set to close in October are in Broomall, PA;Tempe, AZ; Levittown, NY; Huntington Beach, Orange, Seaside and Thousand Oaks, CA; and Coconut Grove and Jacksonville Beach, FL. Locations of the other stores were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to announce the successful completion of this transaction,” says Julian C. Day, Kmart president and chief executive officer. “The stores we are retaining from the originally announced transaction have been operating profitably and better than plan for this year. We look forward to providing continued service to our customers at these locations.”

Kmart says it will continue an employee retention program designed to promote and retain high-performing associates. The company adds about 230 associates, or 41% of the full-time and management associatesaffected by this transaction, will be offered opportunities within other Kmart locations. In addition, the Home Depot anticipates that it will be employing approximately 200 associates per store, which is significantly above the current level of employment at the existing Kmart stores.

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