INTERNATIONAL - Debt-laden retailer Sears has hired advisers to prepare for a possible bankruptcy that could come ahead of a debt payment due next week, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing sources.
M-III Partners, a boutique advisory firm, has been working on the potential filing in the past few weeks and Sears continues to discuss other options and could still avert an in-court restructuring, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the situation.
Sears, which has been losing money for years, has $134 million (R1.9 billion) in debt due on Monday
A Sears special committee is weighing a prior offer from Chief Executive Eddie Lampert to acquire the retailer’s Kenmore appliances brand and its home services business for as much as $480 million. Sears warned it could go out of business as it waits for approval from the committee on the deal.
Lampert, who also runs hedge fund ESL Investments, has said the company should take steps to reduce its debt load to $1.2 billion from $5.6 billion. Lampert and his hedge fund own about 50 percent of Sears.