Sears prepares for possible liquidation as Chairman Eddie Lampert's bid fails - Chicago Tribune
Chicagotribune.com - Mon 7 Jan 00:40 GMT

Sears prepares for possible liquidation as Chairman Eddie Lampert's bid fails - Chicago Tribune

Sears is preparing to potentially wind down the iconic retailer after Chairman Eddie Lampert's bid fell short of bankers' qualifications.

  Sears Holdings Corp. is preparing to potentially wind down the iconic retailer after Chairman Eddie Lampert's bid to buy several hundred stores out of bankruptcy fell short of bankers' qualifications, people with knowledge of the matter said.

  The retailer started laying the groundwork for a liquidation after meetings Friday in which its advisers weighed the merits of a $4.4 billion bid by Lampert's hedge fund to buy Sears as a going concern, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

  While Lampert's ESL Investments has failed to convince the bankers of the viability of its bid, it could still make last-minute improvements before a status hearing on Tuesday.

  Lampert also has outlined a back-up plan in which ESL would pursue the purchase of some of Sears's parts, including real estate and intellectual property, such as its brand.

  But as representatives for the company -- along with creditors and other parties -- met in New York on Friday to assess the merits of the bid, they found a number of shortcomings, people with knowledge of the discussions said.