THE NEWS: Lowe's Cos. offered to buy Sears spinoff Orchard Supply Hardware Stores for about $205 million in cash.
DETAILS: Orchard Supply filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on Monday, so the offer from Lowe's will become the "stalking horse" bid for an auction of Orchard's assets. Such a bid sets the floor for an auction process that lets competitors make better offers. The companies expect the deal to close in about three months.
CALIFORNIA PRESENCE: The purchase would expand Lowe's presence in California, which has been a strong market for home improvement retailers recently.