US-based department store chain Sears Holdings (SEC) chairman Eddie Lampert is attempting to save the retailer from liquidation by submitting a revised $5bn bid for it through Transform Holdco, an affiliate company of his hedge fund ESL Investments.
Transform Holdco submitted the bid following a court hearing on 8 January. During this, Sears noted that it would consider a new bid from ESL at a bankruptcy auction.
During submission of the bid, ESL made a $120m deposit to Sears, with $17.9m of this non-refundable.
In the total $5bn bid, Transform Holdco will assume $663m in additional liabilities, including up to $166m of payment obligations for goods ordered by debtors prior to the closing of the proposed transactions, $139m for administrative priority claims.
In addition, there will be $43m in additional severance costs, $180m related to contracts and up to $135m for property taxes.
ESL Investments spokesman was quoted by retaildive.com as saying: “We believe our proposal will provide substantially more value to stakeholders than any other option, in particular a liquidation, and is the best path forward for Sears, its associates and the many communities across the United States touched by Sears and Kmart stores.”
The proposal also covers other measures taken by the buyer on additional assets, including 57 real estate properties and additional inventory.
Earlier, Lampert submitted a $4.6bn bid through his hedge fund ESL Investments to acquire the retail firm out of bankruptcy, which was not accepted by the retailer noting that it would still make the company ‘administratively insolvent’.