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Lampert’s ESL Investments Prevails as Winning Bidder for Sears

January 18, 2019, 08:00 AM
Filed Under: Retail

Sears Holdings Corporation announced that ESL Investments, Inc., the hedge fund run by Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert, was selected as the winning bidder in the Company's auction. Subject to Bankruptcy Court approval, ESL will acquire substantially all of the Company's assets, including the "Go Forward Stores" on a going-concern basis for approximately $5.2 billion.

The winning bid comes after months of wrangling with creditors who preferred to see the retail giant liquidated. In early January Lampert raised his original bid of $4.4 billion after it was rejected by the company.  

ESL's offer has been the only one that would keep Sears alive. Its final offer for Sears will preserve 45,000 jobs, according to press reports.

"ESL has been steadfast in its commitment to Sears because we believe that its emergence from Chapter 11 as a going concern is the best path for the company, its associates and the many communities touched by Sears and Kmart stores," a spokesperson for ESL said in a statement published by CNBC.

The Restructuring Committee of the Board of Directors said: "We are pleased to have reached a deal that would provide a path for Sears to emerge from the chapter 11 process. Importantly, the consummation of the transaction would preserve employment for tens of thousands of associates, as well as the relationships with many vendors and suppliers who provide Sears with goods and services. We would like to thank our dedicated associates, vendors and partners for their continued support through this process, and most importantly the members and customers we have the privilege to serve." 

A hearing to approve the sale is currently scheduled for February 1, 2019. Provided the closing conditions are satisfied, the transaction is expected to close on or about February 8, 2019.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is serving as legal counsel, M-III Partners, L.P. is serving as restructuring advisor and Lazard Frères & Co. LLC is serving as investment banker to Holdings.


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