Billionaire who led Sears into bankruptcy offers to buy it

Posted at 1:21 PM, Dec 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 13:27:49-05

Former Sears CEO and billionaire investor Eddie Lampert is now looking to buy what’s left of the bankrupt retailer.

Lampert and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, said in a regulatory filing on Thursday that he plans to offer $4.6 billion in cash and stock to buy all of Sears, a move he said could save 50,000 jobs.

“Sears is an iconic fixture in American retail, and we continue to believe in the company’s immense potential to evolve and operate profitably as a going concern with a new capitalization and organizational structure,” Lampert, who remains chairman of the board at Sears, said in a statement. “We believe that a future for Sears as a going concern is the only way to preserve tens of thousands of jobs and bring continue economic benefits to the many communities around the United States that are touched by Sears and Kmart stores.”

Sears, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October, is currently headed toward liquidation. The once dominant retailer has been shuttering stores and laying off employees, with roughly 500 stores still in operation.

Lampert’s proposed bid would be financed with about $950 million in added debt, with details still being hammered out.

-Kate Gibson reporting for CBS MoneyWatch