New York (CNN Business)The next week could determine whether Sears, once the nation’s largest and most important retailer, lives or dies.
US Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain is due to hold a hearing starting Monday on Sears’ plan to sell its assets, including 425 stores, to its chairman Eddie Lampert. It is the only chance to save the jobs of up to 45,000 employees of the Sears and Kmart chains and keep the 133-year old retailer in business.
Lampert’s rescue bid is opposed by creditors, including vendors and landlords, arguing that the company should be shut down and liquidated. More than 40 parties in the case have filed objections to the company’s planned sale, including the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the federal watchdog that just took over the pension benefit payments owed 90,000 Sears retirees and other beneficiaries.