Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Source Says Sears Is Preparing to Liquidate

A Reuters source says Sears is preparing a liquidation plan, which it will file with the bankruptcy court today:

Sears had been considering a fragmentary no-cash bid led by its chairman, but reading between the lines, it seems this bid was never complete and the board was not convinced it had the potential to turn into a complete bid that would keep any part of the business intact.

Sears or another party could ask for a further delay, but even if that is granted, I expect the bankruptcy court will want to proceed to a liquidation auction within a couple of weeks, which could mean most stores closing in May. The best hope for a continuation at this point is that a buyer buys several dozen stores and either the Sears or Kmart brand, but while this might sound relatively simple, it rarely happens in large retail chain liquidations.

Update: A mostly consistent account with further details from Lauren Hirsch at CNBC:

A Bloomberg analysis at Chicago Tribune says the bid’s reliance on debt holdings in place of cash might have been the problem:

Update: The bankruptcy court has ordered a one-day delay to allow a revised going-concern bid. Sears’ chairman has said the revised bid will include some cash, potentially enough to get the company through bankruptcy.