Sears Holdings Corp. CEO and Chairman Edward Lampert is exploring the purchase of Kenmore and other Sears assets as the company auctions them off during the bankruptcy process, Reuters reported on Oct. 11, citing sources familiar with the situation.
A potential deal could help the department store operator avoid liquidation, at least in the short term, according to the report. The other assets include Sears' home improvement unit and some real estate, Reuters reported.
Sears is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy protection as the Oct. 15 deadline to make a $134 million debt payment nears, The Wall Street Journal reported on Oct.9, citing people familiar with the situation.
Lampert, who has kept the department store operator afloat through a series of short-term loans from his hedge fund ESL Investments, has refused to help Sears make the payment unless the company's board considers his restructuring plan that involves slashing debt and shuttering stores, Reuters reported.
The report comes after an earlier story by The Wall Street Journal on Oct.11 that Sears' bank lenders are pushing the department store operator to liquidate while Lampert seeks a way to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy.
Lampert previously offered as much as $480 million for Kenmore and the home improvement unit as part of the larger restructuring plan that Lampert hoped would help Sears avoid bankruptcy.
No final decisions have been made in regards to a Kenmore deal or a bankruptcy reorganization, Reuters reported. A deal could be funded in part by Lampert forgiving some of the loans he has made to Sears, according to the report.
Sears did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.