Sears Probably Won’t Be Completely Liquidated Thanks to the Bankruptcy Bidder Who Just Agreed to Buy It Out

SEARS PROBABLY WON’T BE COMPLETELY LIQUIDATED THANKS TO THE BANKRUPTCY BIDDER WHO JUST AGREED TO BUY IT OUT Early this morning, the days-long bankruptcy auction for Sears being held at the Manhattan offices of its law firm Weil, Gotshal & Mangles reached a conclusion when the retailer accepted a $5.2 billion takeover bid from one of its executives, Reuters reports. Eddie Lampert, former chairman of the retailer’s parent company Sears Holdings Corp, upped an earlier $5 billion offer and agreed to take on more liabilities as part of the winning deal. “The billionaire’s proposal, made through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc,” according to Reuters’ Mike Spector and Jessica DiNapoli, “will save up to 45,000 jobs and keep 425 stores open across the United States.” (That’s including Kmart locations, too.) It comes over the objections of a handful of Sears’ creditors who, the Reuters journalists report, had been calling instead for the company’s liquidation. “There remains a chance the deal could fall apart,” according to the reporters, as a bankruptcy judge still must sign off on the agreement. A court hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet, but is expected to go down later this week. [Reuters; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Memorial City Sears, closed since last year: Toru O.

10 Comment

  • That law firm name sounds pretty scary.

  • It looks like the coasts (gulf coast, west coast, and east coast) have fared better than most of the country in retaining their Sears through all the rounds of closures.
    .
    Whenever I go to Sears in Houston (usually the Shepherd location, since the closer ones have already closed), they are fairly busy and appear to serve a predominantly Hispanic clientele. I wonder if this could be related to the fact that Sears Mexico (separate company that only shares name and a few product lines) is still a fairly successful retailer, and thus Sears has a better reputation among Hispanic customers than the broader population?
    .
    I’m relieved that Sears lives on for now (particularly since I’m still owed a large number of Shop Your Way points installments). I’m hoping that Eddie Lampert wastes no time in putting someone else in charge who will invest in the company and leverage its strengths.

  • Business fail 101: sell the ruined company to the shyster that ran it into the ground !

  • sears has everything…except customers at their stores.

  • @Grant
    Yes, Sears has strong brand equity in the Hispanic community. It is ridiculous that the incompetent Eddie Lampert management regime has never capitalized on that. Lampert also pissed away a lot of brand loyalty that Sears Craftsman tools used to have back when they were made in the USA.
    I hope Sears stays around because I hate going to Wal Mart and Target.

  • Anonymous, the Craftsman line started going downhill about 30 years ago but you might be on to something. Getting that back on track would bring back a lot of store visitors. That Sears on Shepherd is a great place to get dress clothes for the kids school events.

  • Sears could have been Amazon. They practically invented the mail order thing. Stupid management failed to see the future. Eddie Lambert comes along and the only thing that he did was pound the nails into the coffin. Perhaps his intent all along was to drive the value down and ultimately pick it up on the cheap. But, he is ending up with nothing but a scrap heap.

  • I have always thought Amazon should buy Sears. The stores could give Amazon the ability to do same day home delivery to millions of customers. The space on the upper floors of stores are perfect for data centers and warehousing. The money needed to revitalize Sears would be relatively little by Amazon’s standards, and it would maybe help remediate some of the stink of their HQ2 debacle.

  • @J: Unfortunately, they can’t do anything about Craftsman now as they sold off the brand a couple of years ago. They just sell it as a third-party retailer. It used the be that Craftsman was a great middle ground between ultra low end tools from Harbor Freight and the like and ultra high-end schools from Snap-on or Mac. Today, they are basically Harbor Freight tools at higher prices. No more reason to bother.

  • Happy Go Lucky and schrub, those were my thoughts exactly. I don’t believe he should have been allowed to buy it out as it presents a conflict of interest since he may well have run it into the ground deliberately!