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Eddie Lampert’s Winning Bankruptcy Bid Saves Sears—And 50,000 U.S. Jobs

Sears is saved—for now.

The company’s chairman and hedge fund manager Edward Lampert won the U.S. department store chain in a bankruptcy auction with a bid of approximately $5.2 billion, according to Reuters and the Wall Street Journal.

Lampert’s winning bid was a slight increase from his initial $5 billion offer, which was further sweetened by assuming more liabilities. His only challenger was Sears itself: the bid by Abacus Advisory Group LLC, made on behalf of most Sears creditors and landlords, intended to close all of Sears’ stores and sell the inventory.

With his victory, Lampert reportedly plans to keep the chain’s remaining approximately 400 stores open. Lampert is also buying the Kenmore and DieHard brands, Sears Auto Centers and Home Services business, as well as the company’s inventory, reports The Wall Street Journal. The move is expected to save as many as 50,000 jobs across the country.

The closed-door auction came to an end early Wednesday after weeks of deliberations.