April 21, 2019
Latest News

Bankruptcy judge says he will approve Lampert purchase of Sears

Bangkok Desk, Feb 8 (efe-epa).- A bankruptcy judge said Thursday he would approve Edward Lampert's bid to purchase SearsHoldings Corp., a decision that will keep the doors open at more than 400 stores and see 45,000 people keep their jobs, Dow Jones Newswires reported in an article made available to Efe.

Judge Robert Drain of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, N.Y., said he would sign off on Mr. Lampert's $5.2 billion offer to purchase the retailer despite opposition from a number of the company's creditors, including its big landlords. Lawyers for those creditors had spent the past several days poking holes in Mr. Lampert's bid and arguing he would have trouble keeping the company afloat even if the sale was approved.

But Judge Drain in court Thursday said the Sears chairman and his hedge fund, ESL Investments, have a credible plan to keep 425 stores open immediately, and that the sale marks an opportunity for Sears to better communicate with its vendors and employees.

Mr. Lampert, who combined Sears and rival Kmart in 2005 and recently served as the company's chief executive before leaving that role as part of the bankruptcy filing, has fought since the outset of the bankruptcy to keep control of Sears.

"During the course of this case, Mr. Lampert, particularly, and ESL, generally, have been the subject to substantial verbal abuse," Judge Drain said at the end of Thursday's hearing. "He is a wealthy individual and a big boy, and I guess he can take it."

The billionaire hedge-fund manager emerged with control of Sears after a dayslong auction last month. By sweetening his bid at the last minute, he was able to trump a plan by some creditors to liquidate the unprofitable company and close all its remaining stores.

His bid for Sears got a boost Thursday when the company's bankruptcy lawyer to the court said that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. had resolved its $1.7 billion claim against the company and would back Mr. Lampert's proposal to buy hundreds of stores out of bankruptcy. The government pension insurer, which was Sears's largest unsecured creditor, is taking over the company's underfunded pension plans.

Although Mr. Lampert emerges from Sears's bankruptcy with the remains of his retail empire intact, the hedge-fund manager still faces creditors' lawsuits regarding past transactions he oversaw at the company, including the spinoffs of Sears's Lands' End business and some of the retailer's best properties to real-estate investment trust Seritage Growth Properties.

Sears's creditors claim Mr. Lampert and ESL deployed a dizzying series of stock buybacks, spinoffs and dividends to rake in billions of dollars while stripping the 126-year-old company of assets and cash.

Mr. Lampert has repeatedly denied accusations that he steered Sears into ruin for his own benefit. When he made money selling off the company's real estate and businesses, so did other shareholders, he has said.

Mr. Lampert, who is also Sears's largest creditor and biggest shareholder, will own all its real estate and hold on to the Kenmore and DieHard brands.

What remains to be seen is whether Mr. Lampert's victory is also a victory for Sears itself. The deal will keep open hundreds of stores and preserve jobs, but the company has left open the possibility that it may need to close more stores and cut more jobs in the future.

More broadly, a postbankruptcy Sears must learn to navigate a rapidly changing industry that it once dominated. The department store chain continues to lose money and lacks the scale to compete effectively with Amazon.com Inc. and Walmart Inc., analysts and executives say.

Some retailers, such as Mattress Firm Inc. and Payless ShoeSource Inc., have emerged from bankruptcy after shedding debt and shutting hundreds of stores. Others, such as Toys "R" Us and RadioShack, have disappeared. Still others, including Gymboree Group Inc. and Wet Seal Inc., emerged only to wind up back under court protection.

"The judge was swayed by the 'save jobs' argument," said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. "But I think the judge is as unrealistically hopeful as Eddie Lampert. Usually a new management team is brought in [after a bankruptcy], but this has been Eddie for years and it's still going to be Eddie after this."

By Lillian Rizzo

News history
Besides electricity, what else does Venezuela lose in a blackout?

By Hector Pereira

The business lesson in Tiger Woods' big comeback: Rebuild, don't replace

By John D. Stoll

The inside story on the Vatican conclave that elected Pope Francis

By Cristina Cabrejas

Farming crisis looms large on India's ongoing general elections

Mathura, India, Apr 20 (efe-epa).- The discontent of farmers, the largest workforce in India, might prove decisive in the ongoing general elections, where...

Leaders from 37 countries to attend second Belt and Road forum in Beijing

Beijing, Apr 19 (efe-epa).– A total of 37 heads of state or government are expected to attend the second Belt and Road forum in Beijing next week to...

Financial turbulence hits Jet Airways, once a trailblazer of India’s aviation

By Sarwar Kashani,

Global press freedom under threat, says media watchdog report

Paris, Apr 18 (efe-epa).- The global press freedom is regressing with more and more countries putting journalists at risk and authoritarian regimes...

Peasants in Mexico seek alternatives to growing opium poppies

Chilpancingo, Mexico, Apr 17 (epa-efe).- Peasants in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero who have long subsisted by growing opium poppies want to get out...

Uruguay theater bus presents comic reenactment of Paysandu history

By Raul Martinez

India's Jet Airways suspends all flights after running out of money

New Delhi, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Indian airline Jet Airways suspended all of its domestic and international flights as it ran out of money after a refusal by...

US to allow lawsuits against foreign companies operating in Cuba

Washington, Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the US government would invoke a measure for the first time that allows...

Apple, Qualcomm end legal feud

San Diego (USA) Apr 17 (efe-epa).- Apple and Qualcomm agreed to dismiss all litigation between the two companies world-wide and forged a new license...

Uber shows why food-delivery business is no cheap date

Madrid, Apr. 17 (EFE).- Uber's drive to go public is lighting a fire under an already-sizzling market for online food delivery, where everyone wants to eat...

China growth beats expectations thanks to humming factories

By James T. Areddy

EU urges companies to counterattack US lawsuits on Cuba

Havana, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- European Union authorities on Tuesday committed themselves to protecting the interests of businessmen from the bloc in Cuba and...

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador daily press conference

Mexico City, Apr 16 (epa-efe).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Tuesday touted the creation of more than 269,000 jobs in the first quarter, saying...

American Airlines to boost Boeing 737 MAX training

New York (USA), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- American Airlines Group Inc., after saying for months that its pilots didn't need additional ground-simulator experience...

China pushes for power of electric vehicles in face of declining sales

By Paula Escalada Medrano

Former VW chief faces new allegations

Madrid, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- German prosecutors charged former Volkswagen Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn and four others with fraud relating to emissions...

Investors suffer a smoking relapse

New York (USA), Apr 16 (efe-epa).- Much like die-hard smokers, investors are finding it hard to stay away from cigarettes, according to a Dow Jones...

Korean carrier to sell large stake

Seoul, Apr 16 (EFE).- South Korea's second-largest carrier, Asiana Airlines, will put up for sale the one-third stake owned by its controlling family as...

China's share in global output will peak at 27 percent in 2030 : OECD

Beijing, Apr 16 (efe-epa).- The Chinese economy will continue to grow at a strong pace despite signs of a slowdown, and its share in the world’s output will...

Macri predicts inflation spike in March, but says it can be eradicated

Buenos Aires, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Monday predicted an inflation "peak" or spike in the figures for March - to be...

Mexican gov't reveals cheapest, most expensive places for fuel

Mexico City, Apr 15 (efe-epa).- The federal government on Monday revealed the average price for fuel by brand and which service stations in Mexico had the...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.