Sears lines up $200 million to help stay afloat with help from CEO Lampert – Chicago Tribune

Sears Holdings Corp., the struggling retailer backed by hedge fund manager Eddie Lampert, rose the most in almost two months after lining up a $200 million letter of credit to help fund its money-losing operations.

The amount could be expanded to as much as $500 million with the consent of lenders, according to a statement Thursday. Affiliates of ESL Investments Inc. — a firm run by Lampert, who also serves as Sears’s chief executive officer, is providing the promise of funding through Citigroup Inc.

The move signals that Lampert remains committed to bankrolling Sears, even as the department-store chain suffers from dwindling sales and billions in red ink. After acquiring the once-mighty retailer more than a decade ago, he has sold off assets and real estate in a bid to return the company to profitability. The hedge fund manager, who is also Sears’s biggest investor, became CEO of the business almost four years ago.

The stock jumped as much as 8.7 percent to $8.89 in New York trading following Sears statement Thursday, marking the biggest intraday gain since Nov. 14. The shares had lost more than 60 percent of their value this year before the latest rally.


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