Sears avoided liquidation Friday with a $4.6 billion bid by Chairman Eddie Lampert just before deadline, Associated Press reported. The bid still needs approval from Sears Holdings’ board in January 2019.
The offer is for just 435 Sears stores and was issued by an affiliate of Lampert’s ESL Investments, Transform Holdco. Earlier on Friday, the company announced it would close another 80 locations by March, bringing the number of store closings to 260 for 2018, according to CNBC.
Sears Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Oct. 15.The retailer began as a mail order catalog operation in the 1880s.
Lampert’s offer proposes to save 50,000 of the existing 68,000 jobs at Sears. Details of the deal are not yet public.
The 80 stores include the location at Fairview Heights, an anchor of the mall since April 1975.
The latest round of closures is in addition to 182 stores already slated for closure. At the time of the bankruptcy filing, it operated about 700 Sears and Kmart stores.
Liquidation sales are scheduled to begin in two weeks, the company said. As part of the closings, the accompanying Sears Auto Centers at the Sears stores slated for closure will also shut down in January.
“It doesn’t come as a shock because Sears has been going through some difficult times over the last several years,” Fairview Heights Mayor Kupsky told the Beleville News Democrat. “I certainly feel sorry for those employees who will be affected. We have been working with the mall management on an alternate plan should Sears close.”
Kupsky could not provide more details.