Sears lines up $100 million in new financing

The beleaguered retailer reported that its overall same-store sales fell 16% to 17% for the first two months of the fourth quarter. Sears results came as the majority of retailers were reporting strong holiday results and as overall holiday sales rose 4.9%, the biggest increase since 2011.

Sears also announced that it has raised $100 million in new financing and is seeking to borrow an additional $200 million from other parties. The chain said it has also amended terms on its existing second lien notes and is in talks with other lenders to improve the terms on up to $1 billion of non-first lien debt.

"As previously announced, we are actively pursuing transactions to adjust our capital structure in order to generate liquidity and increase our financial flexibility," stated CFO Rob Riecker said in a statement. "The new capital we have secured represents meaningful progress towards those objectives and demonstrates that we continue to have options to finance our business."

In addition, Sears plans to streamline its operations to achieve another $200 million in cost reductions on an annualized basis in 2018 (excluding store closures.) Last week, Sears announced yet another round of store closures, with 103 locations to be shuttered by spring.

In a blog post, Sears chairman and CEO Eddie Lampert continued to maintain that the company is on track to turn a profit in 2018. But he also warned that, if the refinancing is not “fully successful,” the Sears’ board will "consider all other options to maximize the value of Sears Holdings' assets.”

There was one positive note in Sears’ most recent announcement. The retailer expects a smaller loss for the fourth quarter compared to last year. The company expects a loss of between $200 million and $320 million, excluding charges from closing stores, severance and tax-related matters, compared with a net loss of $607 million during the year-ago period.

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