Sears – Are suitors lining up to purchase retailer’s assets?

By MarketsFOXBusiness

Sears closing last remaining store in Chicago

FBN's Jeff Flock on Sears closing its last store in Chicago.

ESL Investments, the hedge fund run by Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, has received “numerous” inquiries from potential partners interested in a deal, writes MarketWatch.

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This comes after April 20 when ESL Investments proposed buying certain assets of the struggling retailer.

ESL asked Sears to reconsider the limits it has placed on ESL's ability to engage with potential partners for a deal, adding that, since ESL made its proposal, there has been a "significant increase" in the price for Sears' unsecured debt that would make certain debt repurchases and debt-for-equity exchanges less attractive. "We wanted to emphasize that finding an appropriate partner soon will be a critical factor that will materially impact any definitive proposal that we are able to make," ESL’s letter stated.

As previously reported by FOX Business, Sears in May announced that it would form a special committee to analyze the merits of a sale of its Kenmore brand and related assets after ESL recommended the divestiture of a number of the chain’s assets.

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The assets that ESL recommended to be divested, beyond the Kenmore brand, included the Sears Home Improvement business and the PartsDirect business.

In addition to recommending the divestiture, ESL offered up to $500 million to acquire certain assets and said it would be willing to purchase some of the Sears’ real estate, including the assumption of $1.2 billion in debt to lease it back to the stores for continued operation.