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Sears CEO makes last-ditch effort to avoid bankruptcy

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/24/2018 Hayley Peterson
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Video by Fox Business

Sears is running out of cash, and its CEO is scrambling to keep the company afloat.

In a proposal made public on Monday, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert laid out a plan to give the company a short-term cash infusion and extend deadlines for debt repayments.

Specifically, he wants creditors to restructure about $1.1 billion of debt coming due in the next two years. He has also asked Sears' board to sell $1.5 billion of real estate and divest $1.75 billion of assets.

"Sears now faces significant near‐term liquidity constraints," states a filing on the proposal.

Wall Street analysts have predicted for years that Sears is imminently going bankrupt. But the retailer has managed to stay afloat with loans from Lampert, the sale of valuable real estate, and the slow dismantling of its exclusivity over some big American brands.

But Sears' options are now running out, as the company's sales continue to plummet amid mass store closures.

The company has cut its store count in half within the past five years, to 894 stores as of May 5, down from 1,980 stores in 2013.

Sears has also been systematically trimming its corporate workforce. The company has cut roughly 420 corporate jobs this year, following two rounds of cuts last year totaling more than 500 jobs.

Sears disclosed last year that its corporate headcount at Hoffman Estates and a nearby satellite office had fallen to fewer than 4,250 workers from 5,444 employees in 2015.

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