Lifeline or liquidation? Bankrupt Sears weighs chairman's $5 billion rescue bid. - Chicago Tribune Chicagotribune.com - Fri 11 Jan 13:12 GMT
Sears Chairman Edward Lampert raised his bid for the bankrupt retailer's assets to more than $5 billion ahead of a bankruptcy auction scheduled to begin Monday.
At a U.S. Bankruptcy Court hearing Tuesday in New York, Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings Corp. agreed to consider Lampert’s revised bid to keep the retailer alive alongside other offers for its assets.
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ESL said late last month that it was prepared to pay $4.4 billion for many of the retailer's remaining assets, including about 425 Sears and Kmart stores, an offer the hedge fund said would preserve up to 50,000 jobs.
At Tuesday’s hearing, an attorney representing a committee of Sears’ creditors expressed concerns about the rescue bid and said creditors believe there are “significant viable claims against ESL.”
ESL has offered $35 million in exchange for a release from any liability related to transactions between the hedge fund and the retailer prior to Sears’ bankruptcy filing.
In November, the creditors committee raised questions about financial dealings between Lampert, ESL and Sears, saying those transactions “may be part of an extended pattern of conduct that served to benefit certain (insider) equity holders,” according to court filings.