Sears CEO looks to buy Kenmore brand

Sears is working to put off filing for bankruptcy. BLOOMBERG
Sears is working to put off filing for bankruptcy. BLOOMBERG

Sear’s chief executive officer is planning to buy the company’s Kenmore brand, likely an attempt to push back a bankruptcy filing.

CEO Eddie Lampert and the hedge fund he runs called ESL Investments has offered $400 million in cash for the Kenmore appliance brand and another $70 million to $80 million for the Home Improvement business of the Home Services division, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The purchases will “allow Holdings to reduce its debt, extend its maturity profile and alleviate its liquidity challenges,” according to the filing.

Lampert presented the deal to the board in a letter.

“Speed and certainty here are critical. We believe, therefore, that an expedited process is in the best interest of all parties involved,” he said.

Lampert originally expressed interest in April when he announced that then was the time to begin looking for a buyer for the brand. As the Sears name loses clout with declining sales and dropping revenue, the company’s flagship brand Kenmore is still seen as valuable.

People familiar with the situation told the Wall Street Journal that the move is an effort to provide Sears some extra cash flow and hold off filing for bankruptcy, while also providing growth through sales of Kenmore appliances at other stores.

Sears has several locations in the Dayton area, including anchor stores at the Dayton Mall, the Mall at Fairfield Commons and the Miami Valley Centre Mall in Piqua, as well as in Kettering, Huber Heights and Springfield. All local Kmart stores have already closed.


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