Lampert’s bid to purchase Sears reportedly fails

Bankrupt US retailer Sears is reportedly preparing to wind-down after chairman Eddie Lampert’s last-ditch US$4.4 billion bid to revive the struggling retailer fell short of the mark, according to CNBC.

The bid, which offered to provide ongoing positions for 50,000 employees, was described as the “best outcome for the debtors and their creditors and other stakeholders” in documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

However, according to people close to the situation, the offer raised a number of flags as it fell short of covering fees and vendor payments the business owes, making it “administratively insolvent.”

A secondary bid was made by Lampert’s vehicle ESL Investments which offered to purchase at least 250 stores on a going concern basis, as well as certain assets across the business.

If the two parties are unable to come to an agreement it could force the retailer into liquidation.

Last week the business confirmed a further 80 stores would be closed by March, with liquidation sales expected to begin in January.

GlobalData Retail managing director Neil Saunders called the brand “essentially worthless” in its current state, and said that raising the brand would be akin to “raising the Titanic and making it seaworthy again: a thankless and rather pointless task.”

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