Lampert submits offer for Sears
Chairman Eddie Lampert bids $4.5 billion to purchase Sears' remaining locations.
The drawn-out saga of embattled Sears Holdings Corp. may have entered its final chapter.
In a move to save the bankrupt retailer, ESL Investments, the hedge fund run by Sears chairman Eddie Lampert, submitted a $4.6 billion bid on Thursday to purchase its remaining stores, which total about 500, headquarters, distribution locations, as well as Sears brands Kenmore and DieHard. Sears filed for bankruptcy in October and Lapert resigned as CEO of the retailer.
The acquisition would be via a newly-formed company, called Newco. The offer includes up to $950 million in cash through an asset-based loan facility, a credit bid of about $1.8 billion, $500 million in Newco notes, cash, and/or waiver or assignment of deficiency claims, rollover of about $271 million in cash collateral from the LC Facility. It also includes the assumption of about $1.1 billion in assumed liabilities that include gift cards and points from Sears’ loyalty program.
ESL submitted its bid in a letter to Lazard Frères & Co., the investment banker for Sears debtors. In the letter, ESL wrote that its proposed business plan “envisages significant strategic initiatives and investments in a right-sized network of large format and small retail stores, digital assets and interdependent operating businesses.”
“ESL believes that a future for Sears as a going concern is the only way to preserve tens of thousands of jobs and bring continued economic benefits to the many communities across the United States that are touched by Sears and Kmart stores,” ESL stated. “We are prepared to move as quickly as possible,”
The bid assumes that about 50,000 employees would continue working for the company and a reinstatement of the severance program. Sears filed for bankruptcy in October.
“As always, we remain enthusiastic about the continuation of Sears as a going concern and its future potential,” ESL wrote.
CNBC reported that a “stalking horse bidder” will be named on Dec. 15 in bankruptcy court. That bidder will set the floor for other potential offers.
Eye on Retail: Measure to ban cashless stores advances in New Jersey
Some lawmakers in New Jersey want to ban stores that refuse to accept cash.
A measure that would require all brick-and-mortar retailers to accept cash was unanimously approved by the N.J. Senate Commerce Committee and will now go before the full state Senate. The bill, which was overwhelming approved by the state Assembly in June, excludes retailers inside airports from the cash requirement, and also excludes sales made online and by telephone or mail. New York City and Philadelphia are also reportedly considering banning cashless stores.
Under the N.J. bill, businesses would receive a $2,500 fine for a first offense, and $5,000 for a second. Subsequent violations would fall under the consumer fraud act, which can carry penalties of up to $20,000.
Critics of stores that don’t accept cash say such businesses effectively discriminate against poor customers who might have credit cards or even bank accounts and older consumers who are wary about using credit cards or mobile commerce.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Amazon and some other major retailers have raised concerns about the legislation. Amazon operates a cashless Amazon Books store at Garden State Plaza mall, in Paramus, N.J.
Only one state — Massachusetts— has a law banning cashless stores.
Milwaukee expands fiberglass tape offerings
New lineup of long tapes feature GrimeGuard blade wiper.
Milwaukee Tool is expanding its lineup of long tapes with new Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tapes, measured at 100 feet, 200 feet and 300 feet.
The tool manufacturer first launched its Steel Long Tape Measures featuring GrimeGuard, the industry’s first blade wiper, which cleans and keeps debris out of the housing for easy retraction. The new Fiberglass Long Tapes include the same GrimeGuard Blade Wiper.
To survive the demands of the jobsite, the long tapes also feature a 3:1 planetary metal gear system that distributes force evenly and puts less stress on internal components, to prevent the gears from stripping.
Models Available include:
Steel Open Reel Long Tapes: 100ft Open Reel Long Tape, 300ft Open Reel Long Tape, 30M Open Reel Long Tape, and 100M Open Reel Long Tape.
Closed Reel Long Tapes: 100ft Closed Reel Long Tape and 30M Closed Reel Long Tape.
Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tapes: 100ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, 200ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, 300ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, 30m/100ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, 60m/200ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape, and 100m/330ft Fiberglass Open Reel Long Tape.
The products will be available in January 2019, according to Milwaukee Tool.