Hedge Fund Billionaire and Sears Chairman Offers to Buy Company Out of Bankruptcy
His offer would include all remaining 500 Sears Stores.
Edward S Lampert, founder of ESL Investments and largest holder of Sears Stock, through his firm, is offering to buy the struggling retailer out of bankruptcy including 500 stores. Many industry observers see his offer as "the chain's last hope to survive its precipitous decline".
Mr. Lampert made his intentions public on Thursday.
"Sears is an iconic fixture in American retail and we continue to believe in the company’s immense potential to evolve and operate profitably as a going concern with a new capitalization and organizational structure," Lampert said in a letter.
"Our proposed business plan envisages significant strategic initiatives and investments in a rightsized network of large format and small retail stores, digital assets and interdependent operating businesses."
He also said the deal would save the jobs of about 50,000 Sears employees. The deal, according to his offer will also include all 500 Sears retail locations not designated to be closed. The deal will also include all remaining Kmart stores.
Mr. Lampert stated the deal would also include the Kenmore appliance and DieHard tool brands, key real estate and the company's inventory and receivables.
According to the Sears Chairman, his offer is worth about $4.6 billion, including about $1.8 billion of Sears-issued debt and other liabilities.
To date, Lampert's ESL Fund has loaned the retail chain over $2 billion. The fund stands to lose a substantial portion of this amount if the company liquidates or agrees to pay creditors at a discount.