NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp Chairman Eddie Lampert prevailed in a bankruptcy auction for the U.S. department store chain with an improved takeover bid of roughly $5.2 billion, allowing the 126-year-old retailer to keep its doors open, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.
Lampert’s bid, boosted from an earlier $5 billion offer, prevailed after weeks of back-and-forth deliberations that culminated in a days-long bankruptcy auction held behind closed doors. The billionaire’s proposal, made through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc, will save up to 45,000 jobs and keep 425 stores open across the United States.
Lampert boosted his bid by adding more cash and assuming more liabilities, the sources said. The auction, held at the Manhattan offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, the law firm representing Sears, concluded in the early morning hours of Wednesday.