De­part­ment store chain eyes plan to stay open through hol­i­day sea­son

Winnipeg Free Press - - BUSINESS -

NE­GO­TI­A­TIONS over the fate of Sears Hold­ings Corp. have moved away from a pos­si­ble liq­ui­da­tion to­ward a plan that would keep some stores open through Christ­mas, ac­cord­ing to a per­son with knowl­edge of the mat­ter.

The talks with lenders en­vi­sion a re­struc­tur­ing us­ing the Chap­ter 11 bankruptcy process, with Sears fil­ing on Sun­day at the ear­li­est, said the per­son, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied dis­cussing con­fi­den­tial mat­ters. Ne­go­tia­tors are dis­cussing a loan of about US$300 mil­lion to US$500 mil­lion, the per­son said.

The ex­act num­ber of Sears stores that would re­main open hasn’t been fi­nal­ized, but the in­ten­tion is to main­tain the 125-year-old chain as a go­ing con­cern, the per­son said. Al­most 90,000 jobs are at stake, ac­cord­ing to Sears fil­ings ear­lier this year.

CNBC re­ported the loan and ne­go­ti­a­tions ear­lier, and the Wall Street Jour­nal ear­lier re­ported that some lenders were push­ing for liq­ui­da­tion. Talks are still in progress and the terms of any deal could still change, the per­son said.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Sears, which is based in Hoff­man Es­tates, Ill., didn’t im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

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