Thursday, 24 January, 2019

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

A Sears store Modal Trigger Shutterstock
Priscilla Morrison | 08 January, 2019, 21:23

The iconic retailer is expected to announce its liquidation plans this morning to a NY bankruptcy judge after a bid from the company's chairman to save it fell through.

"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 USA department store", Reuters exclusively reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the matter.

As CCN reported, The 126-year-old retailer had hoped to receive approval from a bankruptcy judge to proceed with liquidation after advisers rejected a $4.4 billion takeover bid from Lampert and ESL.

There is a court hearing Tuesday morning in White Plains federal bankruptcy court, after which Sears is expected to announce whether it will liquidate, according to sources. Lampert, though, protested the decision, highlighting the extensive costs of Sears' bankruptcy advisors, a person familiar with the situation told CNBC.

The people requested anonymity because the information is confidential.

A liquidation could still salvage pieces of storied retailer, like its home services business. Still, it marks the end of an era for the company that started in 1893 as Sears, Roebuck & Co., and was once the nation's largest retailer.

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Lawyers for Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, were pressing for more time to sweeten his offer.

Lampert's background as a hedge fund manager, once deemed the next Warren Buffett, proved to be poor preparation for battling retail titans like Walmart, Target and Amazon.

Since Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection October 15, Lampert has been fighting to keep a few hundred Sears and Kmart stores open.

Sears' last profitable year was in 2010.

Neither Sears nor ESL Investments immediately responded to FOX Business' request for comment on the reports.

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