Sears reportedly seeks to liquidate after rejecting investor's last-ditch takeover bid

Ivan Schwartz
January 9, 2019

Per the report, ESL must make a $120 million deposit by Wednesday afternoon, which will allow its bid to be compared against liquidator offers when the Sears auction takes place on January 14.

Sears Holdings Corp agreed on Tuesday to consider a revised takeover bid from Chairman Edward Lampert, temporarily staving off a liquidation that would have spelled the end of the 126-year-old USA department store operator.

The post No Deal: Sears Rejects Lampert's Takeover Bid, Will Liquidate 126-Year-Old Retail Icon appeared first on CCN.

Retail expert Burt Flickinger discusses how Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert is trying to buy the company out of bankruptcy.

"U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain in the Southern District of NY, who is presiding over the case, could decide to give Lampert more time to improve on his bid, the sources said", Reuters notes.

While Lampert and ESL sought to keep Sears afloat, creditors had been keen on the firm's liquidation so that they could recoup at least some of what they are owed.

The 11th hour negotiation is yet another twist in the rocky journey of Sears, whose fate has been hanging in the wind, particularly since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy October 15.

The bid now requires Lampert to deposit $120 million by 4 p.m. Wednesday through his ESL hedge fund. Those creditors, which include Sears landlords and bondholders, have also questioned Lampert's pre-bankruptcy transactions with the retailer.

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Abid Qureshi, an attorney representing a committee of Sears' creditors, said they had not been included in those negotiations and continued to have "significant concerns" about ESL's bid.

Lampert and his hedge fund argue the loans were proper and made to keep Sears alive.

ESL's ability to finance its purchase by effectively forgiving the retailer's debt will be also be considered at the bankruptcy auction, Schrock said.

Lampert will be able to use debt he controls as part of his bid, a process known as "credit bidding", Schrock said.

Sources told Reuters the company's board will ask a bankruptcy judge on Tuesday for permission to liquidate, closing all of its hundreds of remaining stores and selling off all its assets across the country.

"We would rather look for easier things to do", he said.

The bankruptcy judge overseeing the case said that means Lampert's use of a credit bid has not been pre-approved.

Other reports by GizPress

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