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Lampert Is Said to Improve Bid to Rescue Sears From Shutdown

  • Offer for about $5 billion would also pay severance, vendors
  • Hedge fund seeks standing to compete against liquidators
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Sears Files for Bankruptcy After 134 Years in Business
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Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments hedge fund raised its bid to keep Sears Holdings Corp. in business with an offer of about $5 billion that covers severance for workers and bills from its suppliers.

Advisers for the hedge fund crafted a bid that commits ESL to cover more than $40 million of existing severance costs, and more for workers hired in a reorganized Sears, said a person with knowledge of the matter. Lampert is adding $120 million that a bankruptcy court said he needed to post in advance to qualify for an auction set for next week, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to comment publicly. ESL would pick up tax and supplier bills that Sears incurred during bankruptcy proceedings, the person said.