Eddie Lampert’s bid will be presented at a bankruptcy court hearing Feb. 2. STAFF PHOTO / HOLLY SHIVELY

Sears fate to be determined next month

Sears final fate will be determined next month when a bankruptcy court judge decides whether to approve a new sale.

ESL Investments, the hedge fund operated by Sears chairman and former CEO Eddie Lampert was the winning bidder in a bankruptcy auction Monday, Sears Holdings announced in a release Thursday

The $5.2 billion bid is subject to approval in bankruptcy court. The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 1. If the bid is approved, the transaction will close around Feb. 8.

“We are pleased to have reached a deal that would provide a path for Sears to emerge from the chapter 11 process. Importantly, the consummation of the transaction would preserve employment for tens of thousands of associates, as well as the relationships with many vendors and suppliers who provide Sears with goods and services,” the restructuring committee of the board of directors said in the statement.

The deal is expected to save 45,000 jobs and hundreds of stores.

All local Sears stores will still close. The Miami Twp. and Beavercreek mall stores have already closed. Piqua’s will close in February and Springfield’s will close in March.