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Report: Lampert looks to block liquidation of Sears Hometown

BY Marianne Wilson

Eddie Lampert’s plan to buy the remaining shares of financially ailing Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores is running into problems.

Last week, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores said it had received an offer from Transform Holdco LLC, an affiliate of Lampert’s ESL Investments hedge fund, to acquire all of the retailer’s stock that isn’t already owned by the fund. Lampert, through ESL and its affiliates, owned nearly 58.8 % of Sears Hometown’s stock as of Dec. 6, 2018. (Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, which sells home appliances, hardware, tools, and lawn and garden equipment, is a publicly traded company that was spun off in 2012 from Sears Holdings Corp. It is made up of 549 Hometown stores and 128 Outlet stores.)

Negotiations between Transform and the Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores continued through Friday — but it was disclosed that Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores was considering liquidating. On Monday, April 15, ESL replaced two of seven directors of Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores, in an attempt to block what it termed an “immediate liquidation” of most of the company, reported Crain’s Chicago Business.

“ESL was compelled to take these actions after it was unable to reach a reasonable agreement with a special committee of the company’s board to reconsider the liquidation of the Hometown business, a step we believe would diminish the company’s overall value and leave the residual company at risk,” ESL said in a statement. Click here for more.

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