Sears picks liquidator in case Eddie Lampert’s US$4.4-billion takeover bid falls through: sources

Edward Lampert's bid to rescue Sears through an affiliate of his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc, has fallen short so far, sources say.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

A long-standing liquidator is now first in line for one of the U.S. retail sector’s most daunting assignments: shutting down 126-year-old department store chain Sears Holdings Corp, people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

Sears has lined up Closter, New Jersey-based Abacus Advisory Group LLC to sell the chain’s vast inventories of tools, appliances and store fixtures should negotiations with Chairman Edward Lampert over his US$4.4-billion takeover bid end unsuccessfully, the sources said.

Lampert’s bid to rescue Sears through an affiliate of his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc, has fallen short so far, the sources said. The billionaire and Sears are racing to resolve the bid’s sticking points before a Tuesday court date after negotiations dragged well beyond a Friday deadline, the sources said.

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