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Sears purchased by hedge funder Eddie Lampert, staves off bankruptcy

Lampert's ESL Investments is finally approved to buy the iconic retail giant amid protests from creditors
Sears storefront
The road to bankruptcy has been in the workings for years as Sears has seen diminishing returns due to online shopping

Sears Holdings Corp (OTCMKTS:SHLDQ) has staved off liquidation once more after a bankruptcy court approved the iconic retail's acquisition by billionaire Eddie Lampert's hedge fund, ESL Investments.

CNBC reports that the $5.2 billion purchase of the once-mighty retail chain will save an estimated 45,000 jobs in more than 424 stores.

The deal includes an $885 million cash payment, the assumption of $1.3 billion in liabilities, and an agreement to pay off $621 million in senior debt, according to the report.

READ: Beleaguered Sears nears financing deal to stay open until Christmas to stave off bankruptcy, says CNBC

Sears announced in October that it would file for Chapter 11 protection. In a statement, the company said that the decision to file for bankruptcy was an effort to “establish a sustainable capital structure” and “grow profitably for the long term.”

Creditors had voiced concerns over the acquisition by ESL Investments, which is run by Lampert, as having failed to successfully run the company and was part of a “long-running scheme” by Lambert -- it's largest shareholder -- to drain the company, according to a story in USA Today.

A stalwart of the American retail boom in the late 19th century, Sears grew into a household name through its ubiquitous catalog, selling practically everything that American consumers could want.

The road to bankruptcy has been in the workings for years as Sears has seen diminishing returns due to online shopping and an incompatibility problem with younger generations. No longer a driving force in the retail market, Sears reported only about 17% of monthly revenues in 2018 of peers such as Kohl’s Corp (NYSE:KSS) and Macy’s Inc (NYSE:M).

--By Tyler Dikun

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