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Exclusive - Sears CEO steps in for bankruptcy financing: sources

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Exclusive - Sears CEO steps in for bankruptcy financing: sources
A store closing sale sign is posted next to a Sears logo in New Hyde Park, New York, U.S., October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton   -   Copyright  SHANNON STAPLETON(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp <SHLD.O> CEO Eddie Lampert has stepped in to contribute towards a financing package of between $500 million and $600 million (£382 million and £458 million) that the U.S. department store operator was close to securing on Sunday to fund operations during bankruptcy proceedings, people familiar with the matter said.

Lampert, who is also the company’s largest shareholder and lender, is hoping the deal, combined with a programme of divestitures, will give Sears a fighting chance of escaping liquidation ahead of the key holiday shopping season, the sources said. Big banks are expected to provide significant portions of the financing, the sources added.

The sources cautioned that there was always a chance that the negotiations could collapse at the last minute and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

A Sears spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(This story was refiled to change keyword used by media clients.)

(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli and Mike Spector in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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