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New Bid For Sears Put By Its Chairman Worth $5 Billion: Reuters

New Bid For Sears Put By Its Chairman Worth $5 Billion: Reuters
Chances of the US department store operator Sears Holdings Corp  being able to escape liquidation became rosier after a revised roughly $5 billion takeover bid for the company was presented by the Chairman of the company Eddie Lampert, according to a report in the news agency Reuters.
The report also said that the rehashed bid also shows that Lampert was ready to accept liabilities for tax and vendor bills that were incurred by Sears since the company filed for bankruptcy protection back in October of 2018. The report also said that an affiliate of the billionaire’s hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc was used to submit the new proposal along with a deposit of $120 million.
Sears had rejected the previous bid from Lampert which was worth $4.4 billion.
The Reuters report also said, citing sources, that liabilities of about $300 million in tax and merchandise cists which have been accumulated by the 126-year-old company since it had filed for bankruptcy protection on October 15, 2018, was also included in the new bid that would be considered by Sears during a January 14 bankruptcy auction.
Sources also reportedly said that additional Sears bankruptcy expenses, severance benefits for employees and other liabilities worth about $350 million as well as preservation of up to 50,000 jobs has also been proposed in the new bid. At the time of filing for bankruptcy, there were about 68,000 employees working with Sears.
Amongst the main point of contention in the negotiations of the company with Lampert for the deal was to make sure that Sears is able to pay its expenses, which include its expenses for legal and financial advisers which are also known as administrative claims.
 Acquiring of 425 Sears stores was proposed in the previous bid of Lampert.
There were no comments available from Sears and ESL.
The revised deal offer that has been proposed by Lampert is perhaps the only lifeline that would possible keep Sears alive – even though in a somewhat smaller format, and this offer was made at a time when a last-minute deal was reached between Lampert and Sears on Tuesday even while the retailer was preparing to get liquidated. All of the other proposals for the company were primarily for either parts of the company or were liquidation proposals to shut down the company completely.
The scheduled bankruptcy court hearing on Tuesday was the place where the case took a sudden turn after lawyers of Sears apprised the court about the agreement following what was described as round-the-clock negotiations.
According to the agreement, Lampart had to make a deposit of $120 million deposit and over $17 million of which would be forefeet to the creditors of Sears if the new bid fails to pass through during the bankruptcy auction to be held next week.
Sears, which was first recognised for its mail-order catalogs, has its roots back in the late 1800s. It had become the largest retailer of the world by the 1960s and was permanent feature of malls across the United States, offering customers everything from appliances to auto parts to toys.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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