Sears faces critical deadline, will it survive?

All locations included in the release will be closed by late March 2019, with liquidation sales beginning in as little as two weeks. The only public offer comes from the hedge fund controlled by Sears chairman Eddie Lampert, though it's not yet an official bid.

The bid contemplates assuming protection agreements Sears has previously sold to reassure customers who have bought appliances, televisions, lawn tractors and other big-ticket items, the ESL spokesman said.

Transform Holdco LLC, an affiliate of Lampert's ESL Investments hedge fund, said it hoped to keep 425 stores open and 50,000 people working.

A spokesman with Sears Holding could not immediately be reached for comment.

On Friday, Sears in a court filing identified another 80 stores for closure by late March.

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However, Lampert hasn't officially submitted a bid. Sears' corporate headquarters was not answering further questions, either.

Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert made a $4.6 billion offer to buy the US retailer earlier this month, which called for about 500 Sears stores to remain open. In November, it announced the closure of 40 additional stores. If he doesn't and Sears receives no other bids, the company could extend the deadline or liquidate its assets.

In a bankruptcy court hearing last week, Sears' attorneys said it is considering bidders for its assets who would shut down the company.

Sears received two liquidation bids, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. He's shuttered hundreds of money-losing stores, cut more than $1 billion in annual expenses, and spun off units such as Lands' End Inc.

The Sears in the Columbia Center mall in Kennewick is one of the anchor tenants.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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