Eddie Lampert Has Some New Ideas To Prolong Sears’ Suffering

When he’s done with it, the retailer will be just a concentrated black hole of pain and misery.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sears has taken yet another turn for the worse, you guys. Its vitals are plummeting. Even the course of treatment recommended last month won’t do the trick, seeing as how it would raise only $480 million of the $1.1 billion Sears needs to survive its debt payments over the next couple of years. Simply put, it “now faces significant near-term liquidity constraints” in addition to all of the other things that ail it.

The man in charge of Sears’ medical care (who may also be the man in charge of putting it into intensive care in the first place), Dr. Eddie Lampert, has taken some pretty drastic steps in his decade-plus overseeing the apparently terminal retailer, specifically a whole series of amputations that have left Sears a stump of its old self, but apparently none the healthier for it, now says there are two courses left: Hospice care, also known as bankruptcy protection, from which Sears is unlikely to emerge alive. Or he can sharpen his trusty hacksaw and scalpel again for another series of radical surgeries, slashing its debt by almost 80% by removing 200 more stores and also whatever else the company can sell. That way, it can maybe continue breathing—with the help of machines, sure, but breathing—for another few years. Will it actually survive in the long haul? Of course not. None of us do. But it will give Lampert more time to collect debt payments from what’s left of the company, if there is a company left.

“As usual, Sears is focusing on financial maneuvers and missing the wider point that sales remain on a downward trajectory,” said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, although he credits Mr. Lampert with keeping the retailer afloat. “Had Sears been owned by anyone else it would have likely long since gone under,” Mr. Saunders said….

Mr. Lampert wants to restructure Sears’s debt without filing for bankruptcy protection, because he views bankruptcy as risky for retailers, according to a person familiar with his thinking…. ESL and other lenders would form a consortium that would agree to forgo cash interest payments from these real estate debts. If the proceeds exceed the value of any real estate left at the end of the period, Sears would keep the remaining properties. If the proceeds don’t exceed the value, the consortium would buy the remaining properties in exchange for debt extinguishment.

Sears CEO Pushes a Rescue Plan to Avoid Bankruptcy [WSJ]
Sears C.E.O. Lampert Sounds Alarm on Bankruptcy Risk [NYT]

Related

By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sears Is Dead. Eddie Lampert Is Still Very Much OK.

He didn’t want to file for bankruptcy and he’s not gonna be CEO anymore, but he’s still probably gonna get everything he wants.

By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Lampert Sounds A Little Less Certain About Sears’ Bright Future

He still thinks there’s something there. Just maybe not $300 million worth.

By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sears Is Screwed, But Eddie Lampert’s Gonna Be OK

The hedge fund manager has done some hedging of his terrible investment.

By DR04 [CC BY 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Lampert Not Ready To Leave Sears Behind

The old friends are hoping at least for one last drink in 2019.

By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Lampert Not The Only One Who Thinks Sears Isn’t A Total Disaster

And he’s maybe willing to let some of those people in on the action, for reasons.

By Jonrev at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Lampert May Be Done With Sears Canada

Or Not. But he’s definitely done with Bruce Berkowitz.

By DR04 [CC BY 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Lampert Not Ready To Bid Farewell To Longtime Love

He’s got some new extraordinary measures to keep Sears alive just a little bit longer.