Sears hires a bankruptcy expert

Sears hires a bankruptcy expert

M-III Partners LLC, a boutique advisory firm, has been working on the potential filing in the past few weeks and Sears continues to discuss other options and could still avert an in-court restructuring, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the situation. Sears' borrowings totaled $5 billion as of August 4. The company is in talks for financing that would fund operations through bankruptcy, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.

Sears shares were down 31 per cent at 40.5 cents in afternoon trading in NY, giving the company a market capitalization of $40 million. "Like many other brick and mortar retailers, Sears has encountered very substantial obstacles to profitability as a result of the enormous changes to the retail environment caused by the ever-increasing trend to online shopping". The Sears special committee had also been weighing a prior offer from Lampert to acquire the retailer's Kenmore appliances brand and its home services business for as much as $480 million. While the SPDR S&P Retail ETF (XRT) is up 6.5% year to date, and fellow department stores like Macy's (M), Kohl's (KSS), and Nordstrom (JWN) have climbed more than 30% since the start of the year, Sears has lagged-and how.

Lampert himself has had a controversial tenure as chief executive.

Sears newest store in the Dallas area opened in 2000 at Frisco's Stonebriar Centre but most Sears stores are in the region are in older regional malls that were built in the 1970s and 1980s: Southwest Center Mall in Dallas, Town East Mall in Mesquite, Irving Mall, Collin Creek Mall in Richardson, Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville, Richardson Square in Richardson, The Parks at Arlington, Hulen Mall in Fort Worth and North East Mall in Hurst. Lampert and his hedge fund own about 50 percent of Sears.

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Where we were: Sears's struggles are nothing new, and have been an overhang for some real estate owners.

Were Sears to liquidate, the remaining stores - which average roughly 140,000 square feet - would flood the market with "a lot of empty boxes", Kopsky said. When Toys "R" Us, the largest specialty toy retailer, filed for bankruptcy protection last September, it sought to emerge from it after restructuring its debt and shutting stores.

Kopsky credited Sears' plunging share price to Wall Street pricing in an upcoming bankruptcy.

"It's sad, it's really sad to see the end of an era", Perkins said.

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