Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Sears Takeover Bid Fails, Asks Bankruptcy Judge To Liquidate

Sears Takeover Bid Fails, Asks Bankruptcy Judge To Liquidate

"Sears Holdings Corp will ask a bankruptcy judge on Tuesday if it can proceed with liquidation after it could not reach an agreement on Chairman Edward Lampert's $4.4 billion takeover bid, casting doubt on the survival of the 126-year-old US department store", Reuters exclusively reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Liquidation appears to be the fate of Sears and its chairman, Eddie Lampert.

A recent Bloomberg report said Sears representatives summoned liquidation firms and other advisers to emergency meetings on Friday after it rejected the bid and that the retailer would now focus on preparing for liquidation sales to start as early as mid-January.

Lampert's offer was reportedly the only one that sought to rescue the company rather than liquidate it.

Sears did not return calls for comment, and ESL declined to comment.

A bankruptcy judge is giving Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert another chance to buy the department store chain out of bankruptcy and save roughly 55,000 jobs.

The company in late December said it would close 80 Sears and Kmart locations in late March, adding to the previously announced shutdown of 40 unprofitable stores next month. It began opening retail stores in 1925.

Tuesday's court hearing in the Southern District of NY comes a day after the retailer took to social media to dispel the notion it was not longer in the running, saying in a tweet: "We may be slowing down, but we are not out of the race just yet".

The decision was predicated on the condition that Lampert's hedge fund provide a $121 million deposit by Wednesday, as the former CEO makes a last-ditch effort to save the company.

The demise of the Big Store Lampert in 2002 bought Kmart debt as the discount retailer entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and at the same time purchased Sears shares. Lampert, though, protested the decision, highlighting the extensive costs of Sears' bankruptcy advisors, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC.

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