The company, which had almost 700 stores at the time of its bankrutpcy filing, has been seeking a bidder willing to keep 500 of the remaining stores open as part of a reorganization of the business. The bid also includes about $400 million in financing from non-bank lenders, the sources said.
In bankruptcy court, Sears said it has received interest from "multiple parties", but as of yet, none has stepped forward publicly to make an offer except for the hedge fund controlled by former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert. He said he meant to bid $4.6 billion for 500 stores and other operating assets, including the Kenmore appliance brand.
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.
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Sears plans to close 80 more stores across the U.S.in March, as the bankrupt retailer may be forced to liquidate its business entirely, CNBC has learned. That's in addition to 182 stores already slated for closure, including 142 by the end of 2108 and 40 by February. Going out of business sales will start within two weeks.
According to Newsweek, Sears has less than 24 hours for a bidder to save the store from complete liquidation. One was a joint bid from Tiger Capital Group LLC and Great American Group LLC, and another came from the team of Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC and Hilco Global Merchant Resources LLC, the Journal said.
The company had almost 700 stores at the time of its bankruptcy filing.
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Two Central Texas Sears will be closing by Spring. The dispute is still winding its way through the court and the governing body of an industry trade group.
A Topeka Sears location closed in September. But it wasn't able to keep up with shifting consumer habits as online rivals including Amazon.com Inc. siphoned off shoppers, while turnaround efforts were hobbled by mountains of debt. Walmart Inc. supplanted Sears as the biggest retailer in the early 1990s.
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