Sears agrees to consider revised Lampert bid

Sears agrees to consider revised Lampert bid

CCN previously reported that Sears was on life support heading into the New Year, with a bid from Lampert and ESL being the last thing standing between the 20th-century icon and liquidation.

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.

One of the biggest sticking points is ESL's plan to pay for part of the deal by forgiving $1.3 billion in debt that Sears owes the hedge fund, which includes fees owed on stores sold to Seritage Growth Properties. According to Reuters' sources, the bid fell short.

US 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 his bid, the Reuters sources said, adding that a bankruptcy auction for Sears' assets is not due until January 14. An auction for Sears' assets is not due until January 14.

Sears was down almost 94% in the past year.

Sears filed for bankruptcy in October.

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The revised deal was reached after days of "virtually round-the-clock negotiations", Sears attorney Ray Schrock told the court.

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. Were Sears to liquidate its assets, it would become one of the most high-profile victims in the wave of bankruptcies that has swept the retail sector in the last few years, as the explosion in online shopping exacerbates the fierce price competition facing brick-and-mortar stores.

Troubled US retail giant Sears is considering a revised takeover bid from its chairman's hedge fund after being left on the brink of liquidation.

An attorney representing businesses and people who are owed money by Sears told the court Tuesday they will still challenge the bid if it turns out that Lampert intends to use forgiveness of any of the debt as part of the offer.

Unsecured creditors have pushed for Sears to liquidate, partially because they contend they will realize a better financial recovery if it does.

Lampert had submitted a bid on December 28.

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