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Sears creditors object to ESL Investments' takeover bid


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Sears creditors object to ESL Investments' takeover bid

Unsecured creditors of Sears Holdings Corp. have formally objected to Chairman Eddie Lampert's takeover bid for the department store chain made through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc., CNBC reported Jan. 17, citing court documents.

In the objection filed to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the group of creditors accuse Lampert and ESL, among others, as having contributed to Sears' downfall through "years of misconduct," according to the report. They also accused ESL of stripping Sears assets to prevent other creditors from making claims.

The filing comes the same day that Sears and ESL confirmed that they had agreed to a $5.2 billion acquisition deal for the troubled retailer. It was previously reported that a group of creditors was expected to object to the proposed transaction.

A bankruptcy court judge must approve the agreement before it can take effect. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 1, which will also cover any objections to the deal. The Sears creditors are seeking a public hearing about the matter.

Sears has until Jan. 29 to respond to any objections, the report said. Meanwhile, ESL said in a statement to CNBC that it has fully cooperated with the creditors' review and is "confident that the processes we followed are unimpeachable."