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ESL affiliate denies reports of nonpayment of severance for Sears workers

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ESL affiliate denies reports of nonpayment of severance for Sears workers

Transform Holdco LLC, an affiliate of ESL Investments Inc. on May 31 denied reports that it is seeking to avoid paying severance to former Sears Holdings Corp. employees who lost their jobs during the department store operator's bankruptcy.

"These charges are false," Transform said in a statement. "To be clear, employees of old Sears who lost their jobs during bankruptcy have already received their severance payments."

Earlier, CNBC reported that presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote to former Sears Chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert, warning him against efforts to avoid $43 million in severance to the retailer's former employees.

"In the asset purchase agreement, Transform agreed to reimburse Old Sears for these severance payments in exchange for the receipt of certain assets. Old Sears has admitted that $55 million of those assets have not been transferred to Transform, although Transform believes the amount is larger. As a result, Transform is not obligated to reimburse Old Sears for having made the severance payments," the company added.

Transform on May 25 filed an adversary complaint with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York saying Sears' estate failed to deliver "hundreds of millions of dollars of assets" in connection to the asset sale.