Sears shares dive 27% after report says retailer is preparing for bankruptcy

Sears appears to be preparing for a long expected bankruptcy filing

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Sears Holdings is preparing for a possible bankruptcy even as CEO Edward Lampert continues his push to shrink the once-dominant retailer back to profitability.

The committee has been resisting the plan amid concerns that creditors and shareholders would sue over it being too favorable for Lampert. Spokespeople for Lampert and Sears declined to comment.

A $134-million debt payment that Sears has to meet on Monday has added pressure on both Lampert and the special committee to find a resolution. But if Sears is now in touch with banks to secure the financing needed for a bankruptcy filing, as CNBC reported Wednesday morning, that could send the surest signal yet that such a move may not be far off.

A potential Sears Holdings (ticker: SHLD) bankruptcy could be a blessing for some real estate investment trusts, argues Wells Fargo .

A Sears special committee is weighing a prior offer from Chief Executive Eddie Lampert to acquire the retailer's Kenmore appliances brand and its home services business for as much as $480 million. But it has struggled to reinvent itself in the face of online competition from companies such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), as well as from other brick-and-mortar retailers, including Walmart Inc(WMT.N).

Sears newest store in the Dallas area opened in 2000 at Frisco's Stonebriar Centre but most Sears stores are in the region are in older regional malls that were built in the 1970s and 1980s: Southwest Center Mall in Dallas, Town East Mall in Mesquite, Irving Mall, Collin Creek Mall in Richardson, Vista Ridge Mall in Lewisville, Richardson Square in Richardson, The Parks at Arlington, Hulen Mall in Fort Worth and North East Mall in Hurst.

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The handwriting is on the wall: Sears appears to be nearing bankruptcy.

Sears mentioned those constraints as part of a proposal it offered to sell real estate to help pay down borrowings, which would cut debt by almost 80 percent.

Were Sears to liquidate, the remaining stores - which average roughly 140,000 square feet - would flood the market with "a lot of empty boxes", Kopsky said.

Kopsky credited Sears' plunging share price to Wall Street pricing in an upcoming bankruptcy.

The Wall Street Journal quoted sources saying Lampert wants to restructure and is anxious that a bankruptcy filing will lead to a liquidation, which has happened with so many retailers, the most recent being Toys R Us.

Sears was at one point America's largest retailer and its largest employer.

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