(Gray News/CNN) - A last-minute negotiation may have stopped Sears from shutting down for good.
At a hearing Tuesday in bankruptcy court, an attorney for parent company Sears Holdings told the judge they would evaluate a new bid to take over the company, Reuters reported. The attorney said the offer, from Sears chairman Eddie Lampert’s hedge fund, would include a deposit of $120 million by 4 p.m. ET Wednesday.
A judge still needs to approve the deal, CNN reported. A bankruptcy auction for Sears’ assets is set to continue through Jan. 14, and the company could still shut down if more is offered than what Lampert’s group is willing to pay.
The initial $4 billion bid was reportedly denied, and Sears planned to proceed with liquidation. The bid called for keeping 425 stores open and maintaining a total staff of 50,000 employees, but it was deemed insufficient by the company’s advisors, CNBC reported.
Sears has been in business since 1893 and was once the nation’s largest retailer. The company, which also owns Kmart, currently operates nearly 500 stores and employs between 60,000 to 70,000 people.
Some pieces of the company could be salvaged even if it is liquidated, like its home services business.
Lampert stepped down from his role as CEO of Sears when the company declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October but remained on the board as chairman. Sears stated in 2018 its plans to close at least 188 stores.