Sears’ Latest Bid to Stay Afloat? Its CEO Could Buy the Company’s Real Estate

Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. enjoyed a solid nudge today after its CEO, Eddie Lampert, offered to purchase the struggling retailer’s real estate through his hedge fund in a bid to salvage his retail enterprise.

After hovering in the green throughout the day, the stock closed up nearly 8 percent to $3.24.

In a letter to the company’s board of directors, Lampert proposed to buy household appliance brand Kenmore along with Sears’ Home Improvement and PartsDirect businesses through ESL Investments Inc., which owns a controlling stake in the retailer.

“We continue to see value in Sears and its underlying assets and believe strongly that with an appropriate runway, Sears will be able to complete its transformation to respond to the challenging retail environment,” read the letter, which was dated April 20.

Expressing interest in full acquisition, ESL valued Sears’ Home Improvement and PartsDirect businesses at $500 million. It also noted that it’s “open to making an offer for Sears’ real estate (including the assumption of the $1.2 billion of debt obligations secured by such real estate).”

Over the past couple of years, the department store chain has remained on the market after failing to find interested buyers. Lampert’s move looks to drum up interest in Sears, which has faced pressures amid digital disruption and heavy competition with other retailers.

The news also comes just a little over a week after the retailer announced that it was closing its last store in Chicago following 93 years in operation and selling 16 of its properties in an online auction.

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