Once-iconic American retailer Sears (owned by Sears Holdings Corporation) will not die a bankruptcy liquidation death after all. Chairman Eddie Lampert today won a bankruptcy auction to purchase the company's assets, after presenting an upped offer of $5.2 billion, Sears said Thursday.
Creditors oppose the deal.
Sears picked Lampert's hedge fund ESL Investments Inc as the winner at a bankruptcy court-supervised auction after his latest bid topped an earlier $5 billion proposal following weeks of talks.
The deal would keep open more than 400 stores, preserve up to 45,000 jobs and ESL would acquire substantially all of the company, including its "Go Forward Stores" on a going-concern basis, Sears said.
"We are pleased to have reached a deal that would provide a path for Sears to emerge from the chapter 11 process," the restructuring committee of Sears' board of directors said in a statement.
The sale still has to be approved by a U.S. bankruptcy judge, and that's not happening during the ongoing U.S. government shutdown, now on its 27th day.
A hearing to consider the deal is set for February 1.
If approved, the transaction is expected to close on or about Feb. 8, Sears says.
Previously on Boing Boing:
PHOTO: The storefront of a Sears, Roebuck and Co. store is seen in El Paso, Texas, circa 1940. Photographer unknown.