The president of Sears Holdings Corp won a bankruptcy auction to award the chain of department stores in the United States with an improved offer of US $5.2 billion, according to those knowledgeable about the process said on Wednesday.
With the acquisition, the retail company founded 126 years ago prevents the closure of its stores.
Eddie Lampert’s offer, which was previously at US $5 billion, was the winner after weeks of deliberations that culminated in an auction held behind closed doors for several days.
The multi-millionaire’s proposal, presented through its ESL Investments Inc fund, will save up to 45,000 jobs and allow 425 stores to be opened in the United States.
A group of creditors opposes the agreement, according to one of the sources.
Lampert increased its offer by adding more cash and assuming more liabilities, the sources said.
There is a possibility that the operation will not materialize, since it must still be approved by a bankruptcy judge in the United States.
A group of creditors opposes the agreement, according to one of the sources. The creditors had requested the liquidation, arguing that they would recover more funds in a liquidation process and through lawsuits against ESL for operations with Sears in the past. Lampert has said that those operations were in order.
The retail group has been one of the victims of the highest profile of financial problems in the retail sector to date, in a context of increasing popularity of online shopping at sites such as Amazon.com.