Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert is partnering with Cyrus Capital Partners in its bid for Sears Holdings, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.
Lampert has said in court filings his hedge fund, ESL Investments, is planning to buy roughly 500 of Sears’ stores, helping it to emerge from bankruptcy. It has been unclear how ESL would finance such a bid.
Cyrus Capital has emerged as a key party in Sears’ bankruptcy. The fund yesterday afternoon swooped in to help pay Sears’ junior debt-in-possession financing, a surprising development in bankruptcy court that shocked even some of Sears’ lenders. Sears had previously said it was working with Great American Capital Partners for the loan.
Even with Cyrus’ support, however, ESL faces challenges in keeping Sears alive. Some of Sears’ unsecured lenders have already pushed for it to liquidate. Should ESL use some its Sears’ debt to fund a bid − through a so-called credit bid − there may also be pushback from its lenders. Some view credit bids as giving investors who buy a distressed company’s debt at cheap prices an unfair advantage.
ESL declined to comment. Cyrus Capital and Sears did not immediately have a comment.