Sears to Liquidate After Takeover Bid Falls Through

Sears to ask bankruptcy judge to liquidate

Lampert entered the bid through Transform Holdco LLC, an affiliate of his private equity firm, ESL Investments Inc.

Lawyers representing Sears Holdings told a bankruptcy judge Tuesday that former CEO Eddie Lampert's bid to buy the assets wasn't adequate and said it wants to proceed with plans to liquidate, according to several published reports.

An attorney for Sears told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain that Lampert is expected to submit a revised offer for the retailer, along with a US$120 million deposit, by 4 p.m. Sears will then hold an auction January 14, when it will compare Lampert's offer against others by liquidators.

Lampert's is the only bid created to keep Sears open.

The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway warned 13 years ago, during a conversation he had in 2005 with students from the University of Kansas, that Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert's venture in merging Sears and Kmart was unlikely to succeed, as first reported by Business Insider.

Plagued by falling sales and heavy debt, Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in October and announced plans to close 142 of its roughly 700 remaining stores and eliminate thousands of jobs. The creditors' attorneys question whether the terms of those loans unduly benefited Lampert and his hedge fund rather than Sears. A subsidiary of B. Riley Financial, Great American partnered with Tiger past year to buy many of bankrupt retailer Bon-Ton Stores' assets and liquidate the company.

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Troubled US retail giant Sears is considering a revised takeover bid from its chairman's hedge fund after being left on the brink of liquidation.

Lampert's offer did not include putting up cash to back the credit bid.

That bid had included $1.3bn (£1bn) in financing from three institutions, ESL said in a statement.

But the fact that Sears has an offer that seeks to rescue it doesn't guarantee it will escape liquidation.

"I remember at the beginning of summer, we'd start flipping through the catalog, having to get the penny loafers of the Mary Janes, the black and white shoes", she said. That raised concerns in the negotiations since the maneuver might not be allowed in court, the sources said, given ongoing investigations of Lampert's pre-bankruptcy deals, which the hedge fund manager maintains were proper.

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