Sears gets court approval to solicit potential buyers

Last week, Sears Canada was granted permission by an Ontario court to immediately seek out a potential buyer while under creditor protection.

The motion was approved by Ontario Superior Court Justice Glenn Hainey after rigorous discussion between lawyers representing the company, its lenders, and retirees and laid-off employees. With this approval, the retailer and FTI Consulting Inc., its court-ordered monitor, can select one or more proposals by October 25.

Sears Canada’s chief financial officer notes that it is “crucial” to begin liquidation sales of inventory before July 21 and to complete them by October 12. The motion for this will be heard by Hainey on Tuesday.

Last week, the retailer also struck a deal over benefit and pension payments to retired employees. Initially, it had asked the court for permission to immediately stop payments for pension, health, and dental benefits for laid-off employees, retirees, and surviving spouses due to a severe cash crunch. However, it has since agreed to continue payments to retirees until Sept. 30.