Sears is inching closer to its death as its chairman Eddie Lampert looks to make a last-ditch effort that will keep the retail store chain alive. Lampert has until 4 p.m. Friday to formally submit a $4.6 billion proposal to buy the company through his hedge fund ESL Investments in an effort to keep 500 stores open.

If the proposal becomes official prior to the deadline, the next course of action would be seeking approval from Sears’ advisors to see if Lampert is a “qualified bidder.” They will have until Jan. 4 to make that determination. 

If no proposal is made, the company will need to decide if they want to extend the deadline, or enter the process of liquidating their assets. The latter is an approach that has gained some traction considering some of Sears’ creditors believe that liquidation may be the best way for them to recoup some of their financial losses. But some creditors aren't showing too much faith in the gamble, calling Lampert's efforts a “foolhardy gamble with other people’s money,” according to CNBC.

Sears filed for bankruptcy in October, leading to the closure of 142 unprofitable stores with 40 additional stores shuttered the following month. Lampert hopes to keep 50,000 employees with his proposal, a sharp decline from the 68,000 people who were reportedly employed when bankruptcy was filed. 

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