Miami Funds Control Over 70% Of Sears Shares, Behind Plans For Aventura Village

It isn’t a coincidence that Sears is proposing to redevelop their property at Aventura Mall – it is part of a strategy directed by funds controlling the company that are based in Miami.

Two Miami fund managers control over 70% of outstanding shares.

Sears CEO Edward Lampert lives in Miami, and controls almost 49% of shares of the company through his hedge fund. Lampert made headlines in 2012 when he bought a home on Indian Creek Island for a then record-breaking $40 million. Lampert also relocated his fund to Miami from Connecticut in the same year.

Another major holder is Bruce Berkowitz, who recently submitted plans to build a Biscayne Boulevard headquarters building for his Fairholme fund that doubles as a museum. Berkowitz controls about 24% of outstanding Sears shares.

Berkowitz and Lampert are value investors who are likely looking at the company’s real estate holdings rather than the retail business. The pair recently teamed to provide a $400 million loan to Sears that is secured by Sears properties. The company has also announced plans to convert to a REIT.