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Sears Saga Continues as Lampert Fights to Skirt Liquidation

Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments hedge fund is planning to submit a new, higher bid to keep Sears Holdings Corp. in business.

Advisers for the hedge fund are drafting a bid that would satisfy conditions set in U.S. bankruptcy court on Tuesday, said a person with knowledge of the matter.

ESL is planning to disclose its intentions in a regulatory filing, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to comment publicly. ESL faces a court deadline later today to submit its revised offer. Representatives for Sears Holdings declined to comment.

A representative for ESL referred to its previous comments, which said the proposal “provides substantially more value to stakeholders than would be the case in liquidation and is the only option to save an iconic American retailer and up to 50,000 jobs. We believe in Sears and will continue to do everything we can to ensure that it has a profitable future.”

Sears is teetering on the edge of liquidation after the rejection of a previous offer from Lampert, whose hedge fund ranks as Sears’s biggest shareholder and creditor. Lampert made a $4.4 billion bid to take over selected stores and keep the chain open, but he’s been unable so far to convince some of the other creditors that he could ever make Sears profitable again.

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