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Toronto lawyer joins Sears Canada board as Sears Holding SVP resigns

TORONTO — Sears Canada has named Don Ross, a partner in one of Toronto's most prominent corporate law firms, to its board of directors. He succeeds Deidra Merriwether, a senior executive of Sears Holdings, the U.S.-based parent company of Sears Canada, who has resigned from the board.

Ross is a partner at Osler, Haskin & Harcourt, where he specializes in domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions as well as domestic and multi-jurisdictional corporate finance.

Merriwether is a senior vice president of the Hoffman Estates, Illinois-based Sears Holdings as well as president of its retail services division.

Last week, Sears Holdings announced it was divesting almost half of its 95% ownership stake in Sears Canada.

"The board of directors of Sears Canada is pleased to have attracted Mr. Ross to our board," Sears Canada Chairman William Crowley said in a statement. "Mr. Ross brings extensive experience in both domestic and cross-border commercial matters as well as in corporate governance, and the board welcomes such an esteemed lawyer, educator and author."

He thanked Merriwether for her service, noting that her "years of experience in the retail industry and deep understanding of the workings of the retail business has been greatly appreciated by the board."

Sears Holdings has only one representative remaining on the board of Sears Canada, William R. Harker, its senior vice president. Harker is also executive vice president and general counsel to ESL Investments, Inc., the investment firm owned by Sears Holdings chairman Edward Lampert.

Crowley also is ESL's president and chief operating officer.

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