Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. ( SHLDQ ) were falling again today after CEO Eddie Lampert submitted a restructuring plan to help save the company from bankruptcy. Once again, Lampert is using his ESL Investments hedge fund to give his company the liquidity it needs to survive. As a result of the announcement, the stock was down 6.8% as of 12:26 p.m. EDT.
According to a filing, Lampert's plan would restructure $1.1 billion in debt, and call on Sears to sell $1.5 billion in real estate holdings and $1.75 billion in other assets, including Sears Home Services and the Kenmore appliance brand.
The proposal is the latest sign of the dire straits Sears faces; the company continues to close stores and sell off assets in an attempt to turn around the business and give the company the liquidity it needs to stay afloat. In the proposal, ESL noted that Sears has a $134 million debt payment due Oct. 15, a sign of the retailer's urgent need for cash.
Sears' underlying performance appears to be improving, as its same-store sales slide narrowed in its most recent quarter, but the company is still losing hundreds of millions of dollars every quarter. At this point, it's almost certainly too late for the business to be saved, especially considering the broader headwinds against department stores and in favor of e-commerce. Moves such as the ones above may delay Sears' ultimate demise, but they're unlikely to lead to the business's recovery.