Edward Lampert, the chief executive of Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD, +2.23% , has offered to buy the company’s Kenmore brand for $400 million in cash, according to a letter Lampert sent to Sears’s board.
The offer, from Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, is contingent on obtaining equity financing from an unnamed potential partner, according to the letter. ESL also proposed buying the company’s home-services division for $70 million.
Lampert, who is Sears’s controlling shareholder, first proposed buying Kenmore and other Sears assets in April. The hope was that the original interest expressed by ESL would flush out other bidders, people familiar with the situation have said. Sears has created a special board committee to evaluate the proposal but hasn’t announced interest from any other parties. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The moves are an effort by Lampert to inject Sears with cash and stave off a bankruptcy filing, while at the same time allowing the hived-off businesses to grow by distributing their products and services beyond Sears and its sister chain Kmart, the people have said.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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