Sears chairman submits new roughly $5B bid to save retailer: Report

Sears may get new life yet.

Continue Reading Below

Sears Holdings  Chairman Eddie Lampert submitted a revised roughly $5 billion takeover bid for the company on Wednesday, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

It would be one more chance for the iconic retailer to escape liquidation.

Lampert agreed to assume tax and vendor bills Sears has incurred since filing for bankruptcy protection in October.

The billionaire's revised bid was submitted through an affiliate of his hedge fund, ESL Investments on Wednesday afternoon along with a $120 million deposit, the sources said.

Lampert's previous bid, which Sears had rejected, was valued at $4.4 billion.

The new bid will be considered during a Jan. 14 bankruptcy auction.

The offer, which aims to preserve up to 50,000 jobs, also would assume up to roughly $350 million in additional Sears bankruptcy expenses, severance benefits for employees and other liabilities, one of the sources added.

Sears employed about 68,000 people when it filed for bankruptcy.

Ensuring Sears can pay its expenses, which include bills for legal and financial advisers and are known as administrative claims, was a main point of contention as the company negotiated the deal with Lampert.

Lampert's previous bid had proposed acquiring 425 Sears stores.

Sears and ESL declined to comment.

Lampert's revised bid is the only one that envisions keeping Sears alive, although as a smaller concern, and came after a last-minute deal he reached with the retailer on Tuesday as the company was preparing to liquidate.

Sears dates back to the late 1800s and eventually became known for its mail-order catalogs.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX BUSINESS APP

By the 1960s, it was the largest retailer in the world and a fixture in malls across the United States, selling everything from appliances to auto parts to toys.