Sears’ unsecured creditors file objection to Lampert’s deal

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Sears’ unsecured creditors file objection to Lampert’s deal

By Marianne Wilson - 01/18/2019

Some folks don’t think Eddie Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings Corp. has what it takes to revive the bankrupt company.

On the heels of Sears’s decision to accept the $5.2 billion buyout offer by chairman Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments firm, the company’s creditors filed an objection to the deal and requested  a public hearing to air grievances, CNBC reported.  A hearing to approve the deal is scheduled for Feb. 1, at which time the bankruptcy judge hearing the case will review the merits of any objections.

In documents filed with the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court, the committee said it has uncovered facts that demonstrate Sears' downfall was "precipitated by years of misconduct by Lampert, ESL, and others against Sears and its creditors," along with the broader challenges facing the retail industry, the report said.

The unsecured creditors group called ESL's bid to save Sears "nothing but the final fulfillment of a years-long scheme," and said it is seeking standing to prosecute a number of claims against Lampert and ESL, according to the report. It also expressed doubt that Lampert has the ability to turnaround Sears, saying ESL has "failed to set forth a business plan that offers any viable go-forward path."

"This is a matter of significant public interest and should be heard entirely in open court," wrote the committee of unsecured creditors, according to the CNBC report.

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