For the record, we’re happy that some 45,000 employees at some 425 Sears and Kmart stores around the nation, including the one in North Riverside, will remain on the job if a U.S. bankruptcy judge OKs the sale of most of Sears Holdings’ in early February.
Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert – the company’s largest investor and also one of its largest creditors – has bid $5.2 billion to keep it a going concern.
However, we have to say that we don’t have a lot of faith in Sears’ future, given Lampert’s past actions, which have put the company in its present position.
We agree with the company’s creditors that Lampert’s “rescue” bid will simply provide him more time to squeeze every last dollar out of the company and acquire its most valuable assets for his own benefit.
That was the model that resulted in a real estate investment trust, of which Lampert is chairman, acquiring Sears’ most valuable real estate assets in order to lease them to others at higher rates.
It’s the model that sold off brands like Land’s End to a group controlled by Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, and sold off Craftsman tools to pay off debt, including debt owed to Lampert.
Posing as Sears’ savior at this point is a little rich, given that under Lampert’s direction the company has closed thousands of stores and shed 250,000 jobs, according to the company’s creditors.
Good luck with your savior, Sears. You’re going to need it.