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Sears makes it official: Lampert’s bid accepted

Sears Holdings Corp. confirmed rumors with a statement saying it had selected chairman Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments as the winning bidder in the company's bankruptcy auction.

Under the terms of the offer, ESL will acquire substantially all of the company's assets, including 424 stores, for approximately $5.2 billion. Sears' other brands include its Home Services business and Kenmore and DieHard brands. Lampert’s offer is the only one that would keep Sears up and running, preserving an estimated 45,000 jobs.

The offer is subject to bankruptcy court approval, with a hearing currently scheduled for February 1, 2019. Provided the closing conditions are satisfied, the transaction is expected to close on or about February 8, 2019.

“We are pleased to have reached a deal that would provide a path for Sears to emerge from the chapter 11 process,” the board’s restructuring committee stated in a release. “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.”

While Sears has accepted the offer, some challenges lie ahead. The company’s unsecured creditors are opposed to the bid, CNBC reported. The deal does not address potential litigation the creditors have threatened regarding deals Lampert did during his tenure as Sears' CEO and largest shareholder, the report said.
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