Sears Gives ESL Another Chance At Bid

Sears Gives ESL Another Chance at Bid

Following reports that Sears Holdings had turned down a bid from ESL Investments, a special committee for the retailer now plans to consider a revamped bid before the company’s bankruptcy auction on Jan. 14. The comments came during a hearing in bankruptcy court on Tuesday (Jan. 8), Retail Dive reported.

A spokesperson for ESL told the outlet in an emailed statement, “as we have said before, our proposal provides substantially more value to stakeholders than would be the case in liquidation, and is the only option to save an iconic American retailer and up to 50,000 jobs. We believe in Sears and will continue to do everything we can to ensure that it has a profitable future.”

The comments of the committee come following “round-the-clock negotiations” that occurred for multiple days. According to CNBC, the revamped bid is for approximately $5 billion, and Lampert is said to take on vendor and tax bills that the retailer was subject to as of its bankruptcy in October. At the same time, it was reported that a $17.9 million portion of the deposit is not refundable. Those funds represent the company’s forecasted cash burn prior to the auction. In addition, it was reported that Sears plans to look at the bid from ESL as well as other opportunities.

The news comes after Sears Holdings had reportedly turned down a bid by Chairman Eddie Lampert to help the retailer keep its doors open. But it was reported earlier this week that Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, intended to challenge the decision per reports that cited unnamed sources familiar with the situation.

It was reported that the hedge fund would refer to the advisory fees that Sears incurred over its bankruptcy, which are said to make up a portion of the administrative expenses for the retailer. At the time, it was reported that such a move would push the retailer, which has over 50,000 employees in the ranks, closer to liquidation.


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