Sears to stay in business thanks to bid from former CEO

End may be near for iconic retailers Sears Kmart

The outline of a logo sign at a closed Sears retail store in Selinsgrove Pa

Sears filed for bankruptcy protection on October 15, 2018.

The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway warned 13 years ago, during a conversation he had in 2005 with students from the University of Kansas, that Sears Chairman Eddie Lampert's venture in merging Sears and Kmart was unlikely to succeed, as first reported by Business Insider. But itis still possible that those wishing to shutdown the company will bid more for the assets than Lampert is offering, which wouldset the company on the path of shutdown once again rather than remaining in business.

The revised bid is not official, and will be evaluated in an auction on January 14 that will compete with other bids from liquidators who are looking to shut down the company.

Sears declined comment Tuesday in an email to CBS MoneyWatch.

Lampert, Sears' former CEO, gave the company more than $2.4 billion in secured financing, ESL said in a letter to Sears' investment banker.

Lampert submitted a bid on December 28 and Sears had until Friday to accept it, but the company didn't comment before Tuesday's hearing. It began opening retail stores in 1925.

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A court hearing is scheduled for today (Jan. 8).

Lampert's bid, which recently envisioned keeping open 425 stores and preserving up to 50,000 jobs, still faces hurdles that could cause it to unravel in the coming days and prompt Sears to shut down for good. ESL wanted to finance a portion of the $4.4 billion bid by trading $1.3 billion in Sears debt it holds for ownership in the new company.

New York-It's looking like 126-year-old Sears Holdings Corp. will soon head to liquidation.

In the Lehigh Valley, Sears closed the Kmart at 1502 S. Fourth Allentown on Sunday. By 2016 the combined retail venture Sears Holdings was locked in a downward spiral of falling revenue and rising debt, with customers defecting from stores considered outdated and stocked with unappealing merchandise. Those creditors, which include Sears landlords and bondholders, have also questioned Lampert's pre-bankruptcy transactions with the retailer.

While current Sears shareholders have lost almost all their investment and creditors that include the US government are owed $11 billion, Lampert has pocketed nearly $1.4 billion to date from his investment in the retailer, calculated Institutional Investor in a recent story.

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