(NBC News) Sears, which was once the largest retailer in the world, is now reportedly facing bankruptcy. The company, which hasn’t turned a profit since 2010 and is $134 million in debt, recently approached several banks to prepare for bankruptcy filing, CNBC reported Wednesday. Shares plunged almost 20 percent on the news, and are set to open at a record low. Sears CEO Eddie Lampert has been pumping funds from his own hedge fund, ESL Investments, into the company for years in an attempt to keep it afloat.
Lampert owns a controlling share in Sears, with 31 percent of its stock; his hedge fund owns another 19 percent. In August, ESL made an offer to buy out Sears’ well-known appliance brand Kenmore and the company’s home improvement business. Cash from those sales would infuse the company with around half a billion dollars, which could stave off bankruptcy for a few more months. Sears sold off another legacy brand, Craftsman, in 2017. FULL REPORT