Sears CEO steps in for bankruptcy financing

A Sears Essentials store in Palatine Illinois

A Sears Essentials store in Palatine Illinois

Sears Holdings Corp., the 125-year-old retailer that became an icon for generations of American shoppers, filed for bankruptcy, saddled with billions of dollars of debt racked up as it struggled to adjust to the rapid shift toward online consumption.

The company has a $134 million debt payment due today.

The largest USA toy retailer, Toys "R" Us, tried to emerge from its 2017 bankruptcy filing but was forced to liquidate six months later after creditors lost confidence in its turnaround plan.

In a statement, Edward Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings, said: "Over the last several years, we have worked hard to transform our business and unlock the value of our assets".

Since 2012, losses at Sears have piled up, and multiple efforts to steady the company by Chief Executive Officer Eddie Lampert - sometimes with his own money - have failed to restore its fortunes.

A trio of the company's top executives will now run the company.

In a March 2017 government filing, Sears said there was "substantial doubt" that it would be able to keep its doors open - but insisted its turnaround efforts would mitigate that risk. In said in a statement Monday it had proposed as recently as September a strategic plan that would include selling assets, including those ESL was seeking to purchase.

No. Sears says it will make every effort to ensure a timely delivery for your order.

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Seritage Growth Properties, part of a real estate investment trust spun off by Sears in 2015 with the leases on 230 properties operated by Sears or its Kmart division, is also 44 percent-owned by Lampert entities.

Lampert is now Sears' largest shareholder, with about half the company's shares.

The company has racked up 6.26 billion United States dollars in losses, excluding one-time events, since its last annual profit in 2010, according to Ken Perkins, who heads the research firm Retail Metrics LLC. The company is also talking to lenders about providing it with debtor-in-possession financing, CNBC reported. While losing the retail battle with Walmart, Home Depot and others, it was flanked on another side by Amazon's rapidly growing e-commerce business. Mr Lampert personally owns 31% of the company's shares.

"The problem in Sears' case is that it is a poor retailer", Saunders wrote in his analyst note.

Still, some suppliers said they negotiated favorable payment terms well ahead of news that it could file for bankruptcy, so they're continuing to ship goods.

Sears Holdings ($SHLD) reached a deal with lenders over the weekend that will reportedly require it to shut almost 150 stores immediately as it reorganizes.

In an earlier attempt to avoid bankruptcy, Sears a year ago sold its Craftsman tool brand to power tool maker Stanley Black & Decker for $900m. The companys board has created an Office of the CEO, which will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations during this process.

One of the biggest prizes could be appliances, a category where Sears was still a major player and was on pace to generate $3.5 billion in sales this year, according to UBS Securities.

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