Sears could announce plan to liquidate as soon as Tuesday

Eddie Lampert May Have Kept Himself From Winning Sears BidMore

As CCN reported, The 126-year-old retailer had hoped to receive approval from a bankruptcy judge to proceed with liquidation after advisers rejected a $4.4 billion takeover bid from Lampert and ESL.

"Everything is now subject to whether ESL decides to submit something that will be satisfactory to the debtors", said a source with knowledge of the negotiations.

One of America's most iconic businesses, which has been in business for over 125 years and still employees 68,000 people, is on the verge of liquidation after an eleventh-hour, $4.4 billion takeover bid failed to satisfy advisers to the company, which hasn't turned a profit in almost a decade.

Sears Holdings Corp shares surged on the news, rising to a daily high of $0.365 in the over-the-counter markets as of the time of writing. The deal would keep 425 of the stores open.

Drain said Sears would weigh Lampert's offer against a proposed liquidation during a January 14 bankruptcy auction.

For now, it seems, the "Amazon of the 1930s" will remain on life support, at least for a little while longer. Sears had until Friday to accept it, but the company has not commented on the status of the bid.

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Sears has not said how many other offers it received or whether any others would let the retailer avoid liquidation.

Lampert's offer did not include putting up cash to back the credit bid.

"The bankruptcy process is burning through a lot of money and these assets are more valuable today rather than tomorrow", said a source close to the creditors.

But the deadline passed without any word from Sears on the status of the bid.

Sears Holdings - which also owns Kmart - first filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October, seeking court protection to reorganize its debts or sell parts of the business. That raised concerns in the negotiations since the maneuver might not be allowed in court, the sources said, given ongoing investigations of Lampert's pre-bankruptcy deals, which the hedge fund manager maintains were proper. Even as Sears' brick and mortar competitors established effective e-commerce operations Sears - a pioneer in catalog sales - failed to do so.

The largest USA toy retailer, Toys "R" Us, tried to emerge from its 2017 bankruptcy filing but was also forced to liquidate six months later, after creditors lost confidence in its turnaround plan.

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