U.S. bankruptcy judge approves sale of Sears to Chairman Lampert

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. bankruptcy judge on Thursday approved Sears Holdings Corp Chairman Edward Lampert's $5.2 billion takeover of the beleaguered retailer, allowing the department store chain to narrowly avert liquidation and preserve tens of thousands of jobs.

Judge Robert Drain approved the sale after a hearing spanning several days in a White Plains, N.Y., federal bankruptcy court. He overruled objections, including from an unsecured creditors committee. Those creditors, including vendors and landlords, argued they would fare better in a liquidation and that the process for selling Sears was unfair.

Lampert, the only bidder offering to keep Sears alive through his hedge fund, ESL Investments Inc, agreed to a deal for 425 stores after round-the-clock negotiations in January. The takeover aims to preserve about 45,000 jobs.

RELATED: Sears locations that closed in November/December

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Sears locations that closed in November/December
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Sears locations that closed in November/December
Golf Mill Shopping Center, 400 Golf Mill Ctr, Niles, IL
Eastern Hills Mall, 4545 Transit Rd, Williamsville, NY
The Mall at Fairfield Commons, 2727 Fairfield Commons, Beavercreek, OH

San Jacinto Mall, 1000 San Jacinto Mall, Baytown, TX
Broadway Square, 4701 S Broadway Ave, Tyler, TX
Grand Central Mall, 500 Grand Central Ave, Vienna, WV

1500 Fitzgerald Dr, Pinole, CA

6865 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 

635 Dutchess Turnpike, Poughkeepsie, NY

6626 Metropolitan Avenue, Middle Village, NY

4251 John Marr Drive, Annandale, VA

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(Reporting by Mike Spector and Jessica DiNapoli in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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