Sears was granted a new lifeline on Thursday as its sale to Chairman Eddie Lampert, through an affiliate of his hedge fund ESL Investments, was approved by Judge Robert Drain.
The approval guarantees that Sears will live on at least until Friday, when Lampert’s $5.2 billion deal to buy the company is expected to close. With the deal, ESL has said its saving 425 stores and roughly 45,000 jobs.
Drain said on Thursday he expects to enter the order on Friday, thereby making it official.
Sears filed for bankruptcy in October, and Lampert’s bid had been the only option that could have saved it. The deal though, has been protested by its unsecured creditors, which have lambasted the deal as a “scheme to rob Sears and its creditors of assets.” They have accused Lampert of using his unique position as Sears’ longtime chairman, CEO and largest shareholder to orchestrate deals that unduly benefited him. They have also argued the company, which hasn’t turned a profit since 2010, is worth more to creditors dead and sold for pieces than it is alive.
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