Sears wins reprieve from liquidation as Chairman Lampert makes last-minute $4.4 billion bid on bankrupt company

H/T CNBC.

Hopefully, this will be the lifeline that will save Sears.

I think Sears buying K Mart was a very bad deal for Sears.

  • Friday was the deadline for prospective buyers and liquidators to put in their offers to buy Sears.
  • Sears, which also owns Kmart, filed for bankruptcy in October.
  • The 125-year-old company has more than 68,000 employees.

Department store chain Sears won a reprieve from liquidating Friday after its chairman, Eddie Lampert, submitted a $4.4 billion bid in an effort to buy the retailer and keep it alive.

Lampert’s hedge fund, ESL Investments, put forward the tentative proposal for the parent of Kmart and Sears earlier this month, with his formal submission due today. The offer came just in time to meet the 4:00 p.m. deadline, CNBC first reported.

Friday’s offer, which Lampert submitted through an ESL affiliate, Transform Holdco, is for 425 of Sears’ stores. To fund the bid, it has a $1.3 billion financing commitment from investment banks, a spokesperson for ESL said in a Friday statement.

The bid would “offer employment to up to 50,000 associates,” the spokesperson for ESL said, cautioning, though, that it would depend on “further actions the company may take between now and closing.” It would also reinstate severance protections for “eligible employees.”

The bid may help divert liquidation, but may not necessarily. Sears’ advisors have until Jan. 4 to decide whether ESL is a “qualified bidder.” Only then could ESL take part in an auction against liquidation bids on Jan. 14. They will weigh the value of Lampert’s bid against offers to liquidate the company.

The full structure of Lampert’s bid could not immediately be determined, but will be made public in coming days. If it is similar to the $4.6 billion proposal he outlined earlier this month, it is likely to face pushback from the company’s unsecured creditors. As part of the initial bid, which regulators required Lampert to make public, financing would in part stem from $1.8 billion in debt that Lampert would forgive through a so-called “credit bid.”

Unsecured creditors said earlier this month they will object to a credit bid. Those creditors believe there may be claims against Sears for transactions under Lampert’s leadership. Those deals include Sears’ spinoff of Lands’ End and transactions with Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust Lampert created through some Sears’ properties.

Sears declined to comment to CNBC for this story.

The company filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15. At that time, it said it would close 142 unprofitable stores, then in November it announced the closure of 40 additional stores. On Friday, it disclosed plans to close 80 more stores, bringing the total closures to more than 260, or more than a third of its 700 or so stores.The 125-year-old company has more than 68,000 employees.

Once the nation’s biggest retailer, it was also its first “everything store,” stocking wares from jewelry to clothing, from hardware to prefabricated homes. But the department store industry has struggled over the past half-decade, as the mall has become less convenient and apparel more casual. Rival J.C. Penney has also felt the pressure; on Wednesday its shares dipped below $1 for the first time.

 

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Drinking, Drugs, Marijuana, and Guns, Never the Twain Shall Meet

H/T AmmoLand.

Opinion

Marijuana and Guns
When marijuana and guns are discovered in close proximity (in the same room), a charge of “Illegal Drugs with Guns Present” (a felony in most states) is extremely likely.

Ft Collins, CO –-(Ammoland.com)- Students ask:

“When I own guns, do I need to become a teetotaler?”

The companion question is:

“When I own guns, do I need to abstain from all contact with marijuana? For that matter, how about other consciousness-altering drugs, even ones I take by prescription?”

My reply:

Any time you’re involved in a shooting incident, accidental or intentional, even in a case of otherwise justifiable self-defense, responding police will probably at some point administer a breath-test.

When you blow anything but a 00, it is safe to say that evidence will not be “helpful” to your case.

However, I’ve never heard of anyone being charged with “Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated” (a misdemeanor in most states) when the event takes place in the gun-owner’s home, and all other behavior on the part of the gun-owner is lawful and reasonable.

In fact, I’ve rarely heard of a prosecution of any person who has been drinking and simultaneously in possession of a firearm, unless he was doing something else unlawful or stupid, like verbally threatening people, brandishing weapons absent good cause, driving erratically, etc.

The vast majority of people I know who consume alcoholic beverages are not “alcoholics,” nor “problem drinkers.” Most have never been arrested for DUI, nor are they ever likely to be.

People who occasionally consume alcoholic beverages, but are not alcoholics, are probably not going to radically change personal habits when they decide to buy a gun, any more than they will decide to stop driving.

In fact, a single DUI conviction will not automatically block gun purchases at NICS, at least in CO (multiple DUI convictions will). And, there is no question on Federal Form 4473 (required of all retail gun purchasers) that asks, “Are you an alcoholic?”

My advise is to minimize the likelihood that you will have significant levels of ethyl alcohol (ETOH) in your system any time you handle/carry guns, and of course do your best to be a “good and reasonable person,” whether you have ETOH in your system or not.

In this country, we enjoy the freedom to keep and bear arms, and we also enjoy the freedom to consume beverages containing ETOH.

My advise is:

Enjoy these two freedoms as you wish, just not at the same time. After the first drink, it’s time to lock-up the guns.

Don’t like it? Too bad! One simply cannot enjoy the exercise of all freedoms at the same time, as noted above.

Want to “go armed” every waking minute of the day? Then, you get to be a teetotaler. I don’t know another way.

With regard to marijuana, there IS a question on Form 4473 form that asks:

“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?”

BATF’s policy is:

“We believe it is illegal to purchase, and probably to even possess, any firearm when you use marijuana”

So at the federal level, “unlawful marijuana” is a redundancy. All marijuana is unlawful, and conflicts between state and federal law are of no interest to BATF. Lying on Form 4473 is a sure way to end-up in federal prison.

Some bona-fide authorities insist that marijuana is legitimately useful in treating serious pain. Others, every bit as authoritative, insist marijuana is of no use whatever in treatment of pain, and indeed has no legitimate medical application at all.

Frankly, I don’t know.

Those who use marijuana for non-serious, “recreational” purposes are well-advised to have nothing to do with firearms of any kind. Don’t try to buy them. Don’t own them. Don’t have them in your home. Stay away from them. .

Who use marijuana for what they believe to be legitimate pain therapy do so at great risk, but it is probably best to lock-up all guns in a separate room. Marijuana itself needs to be kept in a locked container.

When marijuana and guns are discovered in close proximity (in the same room), a charge of “Illegal Drugs with Guns Present” (a felony in most states) is extremely likely. In the experience of most lawyers I know, marijuana and guns (in close proximity) are not mixing well in charging decisions.

With regard to prescription drugs that are also consciousness-altering, we all have to apply common sense. When the bottle says, “Do not drive after taking this medicine,” most reasonable people would conclude that carrying a gun after taking this medicine is probably also a bad idea.

The foregoing is intended as “guidance.” I believe it represents sound advice, but adhering to it is no guarantee that nothing bad will happen to you.

Yet, of this you can be sure: Laws are duly voted-on and passed by legislative bodies in this country. They’re then “on the books.” Heaven knows they’re not perfect, and no law is fair to all people at all times.

But, when obedience to laws becomes “optional,” we descend, by a short route, into anarchy and chaos, and we can kiss our civilization, imperfect as it is, good-by.

/John


Defense Training International, Inc

About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or in-actions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr. Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit: www.defense-training.com

The D-Day Piping Legend Bill Millin: Did Not Flinch as Snipers Shot at Him, He Kept Playing

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. William ” Piper Bill” Millin 14 July 1922 – 17 August 2010.

Piper Bill was either the bravest or craziest man that day on the beaches of Normandy.

Mortars blasted the day away and hell rained from the sky. The sea quickly took on the color of crimson as the bodies of the fallen floated on all sides.

But he kept pushing on side by side with his leader, wading through the water, along with every other brave soldier who was part of the largest military invasion in history to date.

Making it through the deep, cold water, he walked onto the shore as more men fell under heavy gunfire and shelling. He had no guns. He had no grenades.

Bill Millin

But what he had in his hands turned out to be good enough to help him survive that dreadful day: his bagpipe.

William “Bill” Millin was a Scot born on July 14, 1922 in Regina, the capital city of Saskatchewan, Canada. He began to pipe his way to fame after he joined the Territorial Army located at Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.

Men from the 5th Battalion, Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders wearing snow suits, inspect the weapons of two GIs from the U.S. 87th Division during the link-up of the two Allied armies at Champlin in Belgium, 14 January 1945.

He played in the pipe band of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders before volunteering at Achnacarry in 1941 for training as a commando. There he met Lord Lovat, to whom he would become a personal piper.

On D-Day, Bill was one month short of 22 years old.

Lord Lovat, Newhaven, 1942.

Pipers had previously been restricted to the rear of battles by the British government, after the death of several pipers during World War I. However, Lovat, who was also Scottish, said that the law was specifically for the British and encouraged his personal piper to accompany him at the spearhead of the invasion into Normandy.

Thus, during the invasion of Normandy, Bill Millin was the only piper on the battlefield, as well as the only man wearing a kilt. His kilt was the same Cameron tartan one his father had worn during WWI. In accordance with Scottish culture, Bill wore the kilt with no underwear beneath.

Landing on Queen Red Beach, Sword; Millin is in the foreground at the right. Lovat is wading through the water to the right of the column

The only weapon he did have on D-Day was a ceremonial dirk, which he neatly tucked into his stocking.

As the invasion fleet began to sail, Bill was on the leading craft with Lovat, playing “The Road to the Aisle” on his bagpipes. As they sailed off the Isle of Wight, they met several other vessels carrying troops.

The nostalgic tune from the bagpipe was heard by the troops on the other ships, and they cheered and threw their helmets into the air as the song moved them.

East Yorkshire Regiment Land at Queen Red Sector, Sword Beach D-Day

The waves began to grow unstable as they moved beyond the Solent and into the English Channel, and Bill was forced to stop piping.

After hours of sailing in choppy waves, a new day began to set in. The shoreline of Normandy slowly began to appear through the grayness of the budding dawn.

Bill Millin

Seasick from the long hours of sailing, Bill was particularly excited about getting ashore, paying no mind to the grave danger that lay just ahead.

Lord Lovat jumped off the craft first, then Bill and the rest joined him in the frigid water. Bill’s kilt floated on the water as the coldness struck him. Right away, they were met by heavy shelling and machine gun fire.

British infantry waiting to move off ‘Queen White’ Beach, SWORD Area, while under heavy enemy fire, on the morning of 6 June

“Play again…’Highland Laddie’ and ‘The Road to the Isles,’” Lovat’s order came as he made for the shore. Bodies had begun to fall all over the place, floating on the water. The atmosphere was filled with smoke and screams and ear-splitting blasts.

Bill began to make the bagpipe skirl with haunting tunes of “Highland Laddie” and “The Road to the Isle” filling the deathly air. Some of the soldiers stood still as the songs began to sound in the midst of the chaos, passionately cheering and waving their arms. For a moment they had forgotten that they were in the shadows of death.

The objective of Lovat’s commando unit was to get past this beach, codenamed Sword Beach, and join up with the troops of the 6th Airborne Division at Pegasus Bridge.

Pegasus Bridge had been taken over by the troops of the 6th Airborne Division during the early hours of the day in a surprise attack, which left the Germans unable to swarm into Sword Beach.

Film still from the D-Day landings showing commandos aboard a landing craft on their approach to Sword, 6 June 1944.

While Bill played his pipe, he barely thought about the danger he was in–he was just following orders. Perhaps Death was not interested in a man with a kilt and no underwear that day.

At one point, the commandos were under attack from sniper fire. Bill later recalled seeing the flash as the sniper shot at them. Everyone else was flat on their stomachs and Lovat was on one knee as they all lay low to avoid being hit. However, Bill, engrossed by the music of his pipe, was still standing. He stopped playing when he noticed what had happened.

Lovat and his group chased the sniper as he ran into a cornfield. After they gunned down the sniper, Lovat ordered Bill to resume his piping.

German prisoners being marched along Queen beach, Sword

The 6th Airborne Division was kept heavily occupied by repeated attacks from German troops and were surrounded by Panzer divisions. As time rolled by, the pressure on the British troops was gradually becoming overwhelming.

They were in dire need of help from Lord Lovat’s 1st Special Service Brigade, which was supposed to be there by midday. Apparently, Lovat and his commandos were running late.

But just an hour later, the men of the 6th Airborne Division were drawn by the sound of a skirling pipe, with tones of “Blue Bonnets Over the Border” filling the air. Green berets came into view. Lovat was finally there.

King George VI inspects paratroopers of the 6th Airborne Division, 16 March 1944.

The presence of the commandos lightened the spirits of the troops of the 6th Airborne. As soon as they arrived, the commandos quickly surged onto the bridge to engage the Germans, with Bill Millin’s resounding tunes filling them with energy.

Millin would recall years later that it seemed like a very long bridge. Yet, as they marched across the length of the bridge with Millin at the forefront, he did not sprint, even with danger coming from all sides.

The last tune he played was “The Nut Brown Maiden.” He had played it for a little French girl who had walked up to him, full of energy and demanding music as she jumped about.

His bagpipe got damaged eventually, after shrapnel from a mortar struck it. However, it was not completely ruined.

Bill Millin Photo by Entomolo CC BY SA 3.0

Bill would later serve in operations in Netherland and Germany before being discharged. He worked for some time at Lovat’s estate before becoming a psychiatric nurse in Glasgow.

He visited Normandy several times after his retirement. During Lord Lovat’s funeral, Bill played his bagpipes as a tribute to him.

Bill’s main bagpipe was donated to the Dawlish Museum, while another set of spare pipes he had used later was given to the Pegasus Bridge Museum.

Photo by Paul Hermans -CC BY-SA 3.0

For years, a big question remained unanswered for him: why had the Germans neglected to shoot him on D-Day, even though he was the loudest and most noticeable member of the invading troops?

He got his answer nearly forty years later, during a D-Day reunion.

He put the question to one German commander who, in response, tapped his head and said that they had decided to not waste a bullet on a Dummkopf—apparently, they had quickly assumed that he was crazy.

Statue of Bill Millin Photo by Entomolo CC BY SA 3.0

Indeed, strutting onto a battlefield with nothing but music was a clear definition of crazy. But this craziness became legendary. This incredible story of loyalty and bravery led to the immortalization of Bill Millin with a bronze statue at Sword Beach.

Millin died of a stroke in 2010. He lived for 88 years, but his story will certainly live much longer.

UK Home Secretary draws distinction between “those who practise Islam and those who you might describe as Islamists”

H/T Jihad Watch.

U.K Home Secretary Sajid Javid is a useful idiot destroying what once was Great Britain.

The people of once Great Britain are being destroyed by willful ignorance about the evils of Islam.

That’s a useful first step. There are indeed Muslims who are “driven by an ideology” and other Muslims who “practise their own religion in their own way with their own family and their own friends,” that is, Muslims who are bringing Sharia to the UK and advancing the cause of political Islam, and those who are not. What, however, is Sajid Javid doing to confront the exponents of political Islam and Sharia? So far, British officialdom has been consistently supine before them. And how does Sajid Javid propose to determine which camp Muslims in Britain fall into? Without any reliable way to distinguish “Islamists” from “those who practise Islam,” how does making this distinction in the abstract help secure the survival of Britain as a free society?

“Sajid Javid defends deportation of grooming gang members,” by Matthew Weaver, Guardian, December 26, 2018:

…Javid also highlighted the benefits of immigration. “It might sound strange coming from a home secretary – I’m a big fan of immigration and what it means for our country, in terms of how it makes us stronger … I see people all the time today and they really don’t care if their doctor is of Pakistani origin, what they care about is that they are getting a good service and these are people that they do really see as British. I do think society has changed very positively like that.”

He said Islam was compatible with British values. “There are many Muslims that I know who are very devout … that are model citizens in terms of what they do their job, how they care for others.”

But he condemned those who saw as Islam as an ideology, saying he would make a distinction between “those who practise Islam and those who you might describe as Islamists, that are driven by an ideology, rather than practise their own religion in their own way with their own family and their own friends. They see it as their duty to spread to ideology and also to disrespect at the same time the laws of the country that they have chosen to live in.”

 

Mizzou Official Claims Tall Men Asking Out Short Women Could Constitute Sexual Misconduct

H/T Right Wing Folks.

Political Correctness is running wild in our so-called institutions of higher learning.

What kinds of insanity are coming next?

Getting up the courage to ask someone out on a date can already be nerve-racking, but now that college campuses have completely gone off the deep end, that fear will be intensified.

Today’s crazy comes from — unsurprisingly — the University of Missouri (Mizzou), best known for torpedoing its enrollment rates after campus protests led a professor to threaten a student journalist. An official at Mizzou indicated during a deposition that a male student who was physically larger than the female student he asked out may have violated the school’s Title IX policy because his physical size gave him “power over her.

For years, we have been told that one must receive “affirmative consent” before anything of a dating or sexual nature takes place. Critics of such policies, such as this reporter, have often wondered what would happen if the mere ask is unwanted, does that also constitute sexual harassment or assault?

Now we appear to have our answer: Yes.

When a Mizzou official was questioned regarding a case where a black male Ph.D. candidate at the school asked out a white female fitness trainer, she bizarrely suggested that the fact that the male student was larger than the female student gave him “power over her” and violated school policy.

The Daily Wire previously reported on the case in July. The male student, who The Daily Wire will refer to as John Doe, asked out the female fitness instructor, who will be identified as Jane Roe. She said she was busy but discussed with him possibly going out later that month. Two days later, she told him to “stop making romantic advances toward her,” according to John’s lawsuit against Mizzou. Despite not wanting to date him, Jane asked John to keep taking her dance classes.

John did this, and later asked Jane to recommend some YouTube videos to help him improve his dancing. She suggested private lessons but told him she didn’t teach privately. She then, according to John’s lawsuit, avoided him for the next week.

On October 14, 2016, John wrote Jane a three-page letter “apologizing for being awkward around her, expressing sincere feelings for her, and asking [her] what if anything she wanted from Plaintiff,” his lawsuit said.

Cathy Scroggs, who was Mizzou’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs when the incident involving John and Jane occurred, was asked during a recent deposition if the accusation against John satisfied the school’s policy for sexual misconduct regarding one having “power or authority” over another. Scroggs responded, “I think he was perceived as having power over her.”

She was further questioned as to the “nature of [John’s] power over her.” The interviewer asked if it was just John’s “size” that contributed to that “power.”

Scroggs responded: “His physical size.”

The interviewer then said part of the conduct code “doesn’t require him to be a teacher.” And asked, “When it says person of authority, it doesn’t mean, like, a teacher or boss?”

Scroggs responded: “Well, I suppose it could; but in this case, no, I didn’t interpret it that way.”

So while most people would assume “power or authority” refers to a professor or other superior’s relationship with a student, Scroggs indicated that literally being larger than another person and asking them out could be an unfair sexual situation.

Later in the deposition, Andy Hayes, Mizzou’s Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights & Title IX, suggested that if someone were confused about whether they had “a legitimate purpose” for asking someone out on a date, they could call his office for clarification, but they might not get a definite answer. Here’s what he said in the original exchange:

Q. Is asking someone out on a date a course of conduct on the basis of sex? Let me just ask you that.

A. Yes.

Q. So you could ask someone out on a date with a legitimate purpose and not fall within this rule; is that correct?

A. You could.

Q. Okay. What I’m trying to get at here is, a student reading this policy, how did they know what is a legitimate purpose within the meaning of the rule?

A. Well, I’m going to speculate. But if they wanted it clarified, they could call my office. They could ask someone about it if they needed clarification. I don’t know that many students read the rules before they take action.

So, students need to have a “legitimate purpose” for asking someone out on a date, and if they don’t know if they’re legitimately asking someone out, they can call the school’s Title IX office to find out.

But what happens when someone does call the office for clarification? Hayes was asked. The following exchange occurred:

Q. … If someone called the Title IX office and reached Megan Grant or someone else, another person in your office and asked what no legitimate purpose meant, would you assume that they would give the same answer as you?

A. I don’t know.

Q. Might they have a different definition?

A. I don’t know.

Q. It’s possible?

A. I don’t know.

Q. You don’t know if it’s possible?

A. Well, I don’t know what someone else would say. I don’t know how they would answer that question.

So, a student who seeks clarification about whether they have a “legitimate purpose” in asking someone out may get different answers from different people, any number of which could lead to him being found responsible for sexual misconduct, as John was.

John was suspended for his interactions with Jane and sued, feeling the punishment was far too severe for the situation.

Mizzou has attempted to dismiss the lawsuit, but much of John’s lawsuit was upheld.

He Loved Cigars & Whiskey: Our Oldest Military Veteran Passes Away At 112

H/T Clash Daily.

R.I.P. Richard Arvin Overton May 11, 1906 – December 27, 2018.

Gods Speed and Hand Salute.

unnamed

Perhaps the Oldest Living American, this veteran served in the 1887th Battalion in the Pacific, he is now laid to rest.

There is a biblical phrase for a life well lived, ‘Old and full of days’.

If that phrase ever described anyone, it describes Richard Overton.

He answered to call to military service just after Pearl Harbor; joining a the all-black 1887th Engineer Aviation Battalion in 1942, serving until ’45. He was in his thirties at the time.

He was a Texan through and through.

“He’s like a gift to Austin that keeps giving,” Overton’s friend Steve Wiener said last summer. “He’s a crackerjack. When people sense his humor and playfulness, it just lightens everyone’s step.”

His favorite pastime was smoking his 12 daily cigars on his front porch, which friends dubbed his “stage.”

Yes, that DID say ’12 daily cigars’. When asked about the secret to his long life (he was 112 years young), he credited God, whiskey and his cigars.

While we can’t help but smile when we see him in this tribute photo…

Charles V Payne

@cvpayne

Let’s take a moment to thank and celebrate the life of Richard Overton the nation’s oldest living veteran whose passed away this evening at age 112.
Thank you for your service, sir.

14.2K people are talking about this

You just can’t beat this one.

 

Thank you for your service, and may you rest in peace, good sir.

 

Sears may be down to its last 24 hours. Iconic retailer likely liquidates if no bid comes in tomorrow.

H/T CNBC.

Richard Warren Sears and Alvah Curtis Roebuck have to be spinning in their graves at the thought of the company they founded 125 years ago going down the tubes.

 

  • The company’s last shot at survival is a $4.6 billion proposal, put forward by Chairman Eddie Lampert.
  • The bid, largely composed of outside capital, has faced challenges from the start.
  • The 125-year-old company has more than 68,000 employees.

 

Sears, the 125-year-old icon, has 24 hours to survive.

The employer of more than 68,000 filed for bankruptcy in October. Its last shot at survival is a $4.6 billion proposal put forward by its chairman, Eddie Lampert, to buy the company out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund, ESL Investments. ESL is the only party offering to buy Sears as a whole, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC. Without that bid or another like it, liquidators will break the company up into pieces.

But as Lampert stares down a deadline of Dec. 28 to submit his offer, he is quickly running out of time. As of Thursday afternoon, Lampert had neither submitted his bid, nor rounded up financing, the people familiar said. Should Lampert submit a bid, Sears’ advisors would have until Jan. 4 to decide whether he is a “qualified bidder.” Only then, could ESL take part in an auction against liquidation bids on Jan. 14.

It is possible Lampert, Sears’ largest investor, secures financing in time to meet the deadline, these people said. The hedge fund manager turned retailer has managed last-minute feats before. Due to requirements by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lampert will be required to make his bid public. That stipulation that could sway him to prolong the filing until its exact deadline of 4:00 p.m. ET Friday.

Nonetheless, the quickly approaching cutoff puts Sears the closest to death it has ever been. Should Lampert miss the deadline, it would put Sears and Kmart on the path to liquidation. That process would take weeks, according to the guidelines laid out by the bankruptcy court. But the process has also already slowly begun, with the retailer weighing the closure of 50 to 80 more stores, CNBC has reported.

The people familiar with these developments requested anonymity because the talks are confidential.

Sears could face liquidation within 24 hours  

Sears, the 125-year-old icon, has 24 hours to survive.

The employer of more than 68,000 filed for bankruptcy in October. Its last shot at survival is a $4.6 billion proposal put forward by its chairman, Eddie Lampert, to buy the company out of bankruptcy through his hedge fund, ESL Investments. ESL is the only party offering to buy Sears as a whole, people familiar with the situation tell CNBC. Without that bid or another like it, liquidators will break the company up into pieces.

But as Lampert stares down a deadline of Dec. 28 to submit his offer, he is quickly running out of time. As of Thursday afternoon, Lampert had neither submitted his bid, nor rounded up financing, the people familiar said. Should Lampert submit a bid, Sears’ advisors would have until Jan. 4 to decide whether he is a “qualified bidder.” Only then, could ESL take part in an auction against liquidation bids on Jan. 14.

It is possible Lampert, Sears’ largest investor, secures financing in time to meet the deadline, these people said. The hedge fund manager turned retailer has managed last-minute feats before. Due to requirements by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Lampert will be required to make his bid public. That stipulation that could sway him to prolong the filing until its exact deadline of 4:00 p.m. ET Friday.

Nonetheless, the quickly approaching cutoff puts Sears the closest to death it has ever been. Should Lampert miss the deadline, it would put Sears and Kmart on the path to liquidation. That process would take weeks, according to the guidelines laid out by the bankruptcy court. But the process has also already slowly begun, with the retailer weighing the closure of 50 to 80 more stores, CNBC has reported.

The people familiar with these developments requested anonymity because the talks are confidential.

Sears was the Amazon of the 1930s. Here’s where the retailer is today  

Sears filed for bankruptcy on Oct. 15 with a little under 700 stores. At that time, it said it would close 142 unprofitable stores. In November it announced the closure of 40 additional stores.

Sears in bankruptcy has, therefore, continued a trend that far preceded its chapter 11 filing, a slow-paced liquidation.

Once the nation’s biggest retailer, it was also its first “everything store,” stocking everything from jewelry to clothing, from hardware to prefabricated homes. But the department store industry has struggled over the past half-decade, as the mall has become less convenient and apparel more casual. Rival J.C. Penney is also feeling the pressure of this trend, on Wednesday its shares dipped below a $1 for the first time.

Lampert had a plan to save Sears by combining it with Kmart, which ESL bought out of bankruptcy after the discount store’s 2002 bankruptcy filing. But the cultures of Sears and Kmart employees were different, as were its shoppers — cross-selling Sears’ appliances and Kmart’s apparel proved less successful than originally planned.

In his five-year reign as CEO and even longer term as chairman, Lampert has largely run the company like the hedge-fund manager he once was, say former executives, employees and people familiar with his thinking. That meant investing less in its stores and advertising, believing such investments were optional.

It also meant keeping Sears alive through complex investments from ESL. Lampert poured millions of dollars through ESL into Sears, which struggled for years with losses and debt. Those investments came amid Lampert’s strong belief in his ability to turn Sears around, in part through its loyalty program, “Shop Your Way,” say people familiar with Lampert’s thinking. But Sears finally hit a cliff, when it had a $134 million payment it could not meet.

Financing an issue

Keeping Sears afloat was easier for Lampert before it filed for bankruptcy. ESL’s loans, while ample, had been largely protected by Sears’ assets, like its prime real estate. Once it filed for bankruptcy, Sears has had far less to offer its lenders and Lampert has had less control.

ESL was in talks to help finance a junior portion of Sears’ bankruptcy loan. Those talks fell apart after he asked lenders to improve the terms of the loan and offer him more protections.

His $4.6 billion offer to buy Sears, meantime, is comprised of various tranches of financing, and little of his own cash. The outside lenders he is asking to support his bid lack the same apparent drive that Lampert had to turning Sears around.

Sears was toast a day after Kmart merger closed, says former Sears Canada CEO  

The asset-based loan he is seeking has faced scrutiny from investment banks, weary of lending to a business that hasn’t turned a profit since 2010.

Some creditors he asked to support his offer have called his efforts to keep Sears alive a “foolhardy gamble with other people’s money,” according to court filings. They have also taken aim at his efforts to fund $1.8 billion of his bid by forgiving Sears debt owed to him, through a so-called credit bid.

Those creditors last week said they believe there may be claims against Sears for transactions under Lampert’s leadership. Those deals include Sears’ spinoff of Lands’ End and transactions with Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust Lampert created through select Sears’ properties. As such, they have said they will object to the credit bid.

Lampert could use his own cash to backstop the $1.8 billion credit bid, but it remains unclear whether he is willing to do so.

Meantime, Lampert has also asked as part of ESL’s bid that Sears’ creditors agree to a release from potential lawsuits over his past transactions. With the threat of litigation looming large, that ask is far from trivial.

Without financing in place, ESL missed its chance earlier this month to be named a so-called stalking horse bidder in an auction for Sears. The miss was an early sign of the challenges Lampert faced. Being named the stalking horse in a bankruptcy sale typically affords a number of perks, like a role in setting bidding procedures and a break-up fee should that bid be topped.