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Report: Lampert's ESL Investments wins bankruptcy auction for Sears

Eddie Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings Corp., won the auction for the troubled department store chain after raising his takeover bid to $5.2 billion, Reuters reported Jan. 16, citing people familiar with the matter.

The offer Lampert made via his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc. enables the bankrupt company to keep its stores open and save up to 45,000 jobs.

A group of creditors will object to the deal, which still needs to be approved by a bankruptcy judge, the newswire said.

Lampert initially offered $4.4 billion to save Sears from liquidation. The retailer rejected the move, believing that the amount was insufficient to cover all the fees and vendor payment it owes.

Lampert reached an agreement with the department store operator after reportedly adding more cash and assuming more legal liabilities.

The final deal does not provide Lampert with legal shelter from lawsuits relating to his previous efforts to turn Sears around, Bloomberg News reported, citing a person with knowledge of the discussions.