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Report: Chairman Eddie Lampert raises Sears bid to $5B

Sears Holdings Corp. Chairman Eddie Lampert boosted his takeover bid for the department store chain to $5 billion from $4.4 billion, a move that could potentially save the company from going into liquidation, Reuters reported Jan. 9, citing people familiar with the matter.

In the revised bid, Lampert, through an affiliate of his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc., agreed to cover $300 million of tax and merchandise expenses Sears has incurred since filing for bankruptcy protection last October 2018, sources told the news outlet.

The new bid reportedly includes a $120 million deposit, in compliance to one of the conditions ordered by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Drain. The bankruptcy court gave Lampert and his hedge fund another chance to improve the offer after the company rejected it.

The revised bid also includes a provision to save up to 50,000 jobs. Sears had around 68,000 employees when it filed for bankruptcy, the report said.

Sears and ESL declined to comment about the report, Reuters said.