When it was announced that the retail giant Sears was filing for bankruptcy back in October, a lot of people were stunned.
So many of us have purchased items from the store and flipped through their catalogs hundreds of times, so the fact that it could possibly close was almost unbelievable.
But now, after months of closures and talks of the company going belly-up, the largest investor and chairman of Sears Holdings is offering to buy out the store.
Eddie Lampert bid a whopping $4.6 billion in hopes of buying out the company and moving forward with some new ideas.
"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 wrote in a statement. "Our proposed business plan envisages significant strategic initiatives and investments in a rightsized network of large format and small retail stores, digital assets and interdependent operating businesses."
By buying out the company, Lampert would be able to save the jobs of the remaining 50,000 employees at the Sears and Kmart stores that are still open.
According to reports Lampert has already invested $2.4 billion into the company, but this new investment has a few people voicing some concerns. A committee responsible for the other Sears investors worries that this new action from Lampert will put their assets at risk.
The Financial Post reports that "the offer is contingent on ESL being released from liability related to any of its pre-bankruptcy transactions," which makes the other investors believe that “ESL and other insiders may have exercised undue influence to siphon value away from the company on favorable terms.”
The court will be required to make a decision by December 15th, but it's hard to know which way it'll go. The thought of all those people losing their jobs is definitely scary, but if it's only a temporary measure to protect the investors it seems unfair.