Last-minute bid made to rescue Sears from liquidation

Liquidation Alarm: Sears May Have Only 24 Hours Left

The latest round of 80 more stores will close in March and liquidation sales are expected to begin in two weeks, Sears said Friday.

Earlier on Friday, Sears announced it was closing 80 more stores.

Lampert's bid won backing from Sears' existing lenders, Bank of America and Citigroup, as well as Royal Bank of Canada, which previously hadn't been a lender to Sears.

Spokespersons for both Sears and ESL declined to comment.

It's unclear how many are employed by Sears in the Tri-Cities.

Sears Holdings came close to losing a lot of assets, the corporation owns Sears and Kmart stores nationwide. When Sears filed for bankruptcy on October 15, it was still operating a little under 700 stores. Sears' chairman, Eddie Lampert, has been trying to buy the company out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund, ESL Investments.

ESL bought Kmart out of bankruptcy in 2002.

Sears has told a bankruptcy court it has received several bids.

Sears has until next Friday to decide whether Lampert's bid is qualified for an auction against liquidation bids that's slated for January 14, CNBC reported on Friday.

Wichita's other Sears department store, in Towne West Square, closed in 2014.

So far US Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain, who is hearing the case, has allowed Sears to proceed with plans to stay in business.

In November, Sears announced 40 additional stores deemed "unprofitable" would close in February 2019.

Sears will now evaluate the bid to determine whether it is viable, and there remains a possibility the company could reject it, some of the sources said. Most of the 80 stores will shut down by late March.

Also, the Sears at Westmoreland Mall on Route 30, just outside of Greensburg, will shut its doors as well.

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