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Report: Sears preparing for possible liquidation as Lampert's bid falls short

Sears Holdings Corp. is taking steps to prepare for a possible wind-down after Chairman Eddie Lampert's $4.4 billion bid to keep the bankrupt department store chain running failed to meet bankers' conditions, Bloomberg reported Jan. 6, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

CNBC earlier reported that advisers raised concerns about Lampert's bid — such as its inability to cover fees and vendor payments — and the approximately $1.8 billion in the form of forgoing debt to ESL offered by Lampert.

Sources reportedly told Bloomberg that Sears representatives met with advisers and liquidation firms on Friday and that the process of winding down could start mid-January.

However, the report said Lampert could still submit an improved offer before a status hearing scheduled on Jan. 8. He also has a backup plan which involves ESL purchasing some of Sears' businesses, including real estate assets.

Spokesmen for Sears, ESL and advisers at Lazard declined to comment on the report, Bloomberg said.

Meanwhile, Reuters reported Jan. 7 that Sears has selected Abacus Advisory Group LLC to take care of liquidation sales should negotiations with Lampert fail.