updated 6/4/2004 10:52:50 AM ET 2004-06-04T14:52:50

Kmart will sell as many as 24 stores to Home Depot for up to $365 million, the discount retailer announced Friday.

The exact number of stores, their locations, and the final purchase price will be determined in the next 60 days. Kmart has more than 1,500 stores in 49 states.

"We will take advantage of opportunities to create value that include the sale of existing stores, or the acquisition of new stores and businesses," Julian C. Day, president and chief executive of Kmart Holding Corp., said in a statement.

The Troy, Mich.-based company emerged from bankruptcy in 2003, has posted a profit in the two most recent quarters and won praise for its financial turnaround. But sales have continued to drop.

Atlanta-based Home Depot is the nation's largest home improvement retailer with 1,740 stores.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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