An iconic brand that seems like it is on its last legs is going to get a cash infusion by its CEO Eddie Lampert to raise liquidity ahead of the holiday season, as reported by CFO. Lampert’s hedge fund ESL Investments has a 48% stake in Sears, and is going to pump $303 million into the company with a goal to raise $625 million through an offering of senior notes and warrants.
Sears management stated in a blog post, “This rights offering provides Sears Holdings with an additional long-term flexibility, and we expect it will provide confidence to our vendors and other constituents that we will continue to generate liquidity needed to support our business.”
Given Sears’ financial problems, banks and insurers have raised the cost of guaranteeing payment to vendors, which interferes with Sears’ liquidity during the holiday season. Its long-term debt and capitalized lease obligations were at $2.2 billion and its cash and cash equivalents amounted to $829 million.
The notes will carry an interest rate of 8% and will allow shareholders to purchase shares at $28.41. Some consider this rate very high for a company that already has significant debt. Sears had already announced it was selling 40 million Sears Canada shares for a total of $380 million.