Sears acquisition offers running out of time

Sears chairman Eddie Lampert’s last minute plans to save the bankrupt retail chain are set to be terminated on Friday afternoon, New York time, should they be determined to not be a “qualifying bid”.

The first plan, a $6.29 billion (US$4.4 billion) offer to purchase Sears, would provide ongoing positions for 50,000 employees and is the “best outcome for the debtors and their creditors and other stakeholders,” according to documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The second plan, however, is an offer to acquire at least 250 stores as a going concern, as well as certain assets across the home services division and certain intellectual property.

Earlier this week the business confirmed a further 80 stores would be closing by March, alongside the 40 already announced, with liquidation sales expected to begin in early January 2019.

GlobalData Retail managing director Neil Saunders mused that the brand had hit rock bottom and was “essentially worthless” in its current state.

“Ultimately, reinventing Sears now would be akin to raising the Titanic and making is seaworthy again: a thankless and rather pointless task,” Saunders said.

Lampert stepped down as company chief executive when it filed for bankruptcy in October.

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