techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com October 16, 2018


Retail Giant Sears On Brink Of Bankruptcy, Owes $5B To Creditors

11 October 2018, 02:45 | Hattie Nash

Sears store in Garden City NY. REUTERS Shannon StapletonMore

Sears store in Garden City NY. REUTERS  Shannon StapletonMore

The committee has been resisting the plan amid concerns that creditors and shareholders would sue over it being too favorable for Lampert.

Representatives from Sears didn't immediately return requests for comment.

He writes that Sears occupies a significant amount of space, but that about three-quarters of its stores are outside the U.S.'s Top 50 markets, so while many landlords rent space to the retailer, that exposure is relatively small. The company has a total of about $5.6 billion in outstanding debt and is down to about 820 Sears and Kmart stores. The boutique advisory firm, New-York based M-III Partners, has spent the past few weeks working on the filing, the Journal reported.

Shares of Sears, which traded as high as $144 over a decade ago, closed Tuesday at 59 cents, a sign that investors are bracing for a potential bankruptcy filing or restructuring. CNBC earlier reported that the company was arranging a bankruptcy loan, known as debtor-in-possession financing.

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The company separately said it named restructuring expert Alan Carr to its board of directors.

The handwriting is on the wall: Sears appears to be nearing bankruptcy. It could attempt to emerge as a profitable company.

Sears, once the world's largest retailer, has struggled in the face of declining foot traffic in its stores.

The Wall Street Journal quoted sources saying Lampert wants to restructure and is anxious that a bankruptcy filing will lead to a liquidation, which has happened with so many retailers, the most recent being Toys R Us. But its declines goes back decades, well before the growth of online shopping that threatens traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.

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Lampert's efforts to keep Sears out of bankruptcy have included shedding hundreds of unprofitable stores: Sears and Kmart had some 3,500 locations when they merged under Lampert in 2005; now there are about 900 nationwide.

The company has taken a number of steps in recent days to prepare for a filing.

If Sears were to file for bankruptcy, its financial performance during the upcoming holiday season could prove crucial in determining its future, according to the sources. That's down from 317,000 United States employees in early 2006, soon after the merger.

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