Sears holder ESL Investments issues statement on Chapter 11 filing
ESL Investments, Edward Lampert and certain affiliated entities issued the following statement regarding the announcement by Sears Holdings that the company has filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code: "ESL Investments' longstanding goal has been to enable Sears Holdings Corporation to return to profitability, for the benefit of Sears and all of its stakeholders. ESL consistently believed that restructuring the company's finances as a going concern and outside a court-run bankruptcy process would have been a better path for Sears. To that end, ESL put forward proposals in April and August to acquire certain Sears assets, followed by a comprehensive proposal in September for liability management transactions, strategic asset sales and real estate transactions. All the proposals had the goal of providing liquidity and runway for a transformation. While a comprehensive out-of-court resolution was ESL's preferred approach, it did not prove possible to achieve this outside the framework of a Chapter 11 process. ESL believes that supervision by a judge will enable creditors to address any issue among them according to a clear set of rules and permit the sale of certain assets through a court-approved auction process to maximize value. ESL invested time and money in Sears because we believe the company has a future. We intend to work closely and collaboratively with other stakeholders to restructure the company's balance sheet using the Chapter 11 framework as quickly and efficiently as possible and will continue to press forward with the goal of seeing Sears emerge from this process positioned for success as a smaller, less indebted retailer in an integrated retail environment."