Sears CEO and Chairman Eddie Lampert is pushing for a major debt restructuring and asset sale as he worries that the struggling retailer is running out of time to avoid bankruptcy.
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Lampert, Sears’ controlling shareholder and largest creditor, wants creditors to restructure about $1.1 billion of debt coming due in 2019 and 2020, while he requests that the board pursue selling $1.5 billion in real estate and divest about $1.75 billion in assets.
"Sears now faces significant near-term liquidity constraints," according to the securities filing by ESL Investments Inc., Lampert's hedge fund.
Sears’ board has referred the proposed real estate transactions to a special committee.
ESL also warned about the urgency of this matter in the filing, noting that its goal is to enable Sears to return to profitability, adding that "for this to occur, Sears must act immediately."
Sears has cautioned that it is at risk of going out of business. The company has been struggling for years and Lampert has moved to rescue the once-prominent retailer.