A Sears Canada outlet is seen Tuesday, June 13, 2017 in Saint-Eustache, Que. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS

Sears Canada assessing revised bid, receives creditor protection extension

TORONTO — Sears Canada has just over a week to assess another revised bid from a buyer group led by its executive chairman as its lenders press for liquidation of the embattled retailer that could start as early as mid-October.

Orestes Pasparakis, a lawyer for the insolvent retailer’s court-appointed monitor FTI Consulting Canada, told the court it is assessing a revised bid from a group led by Brandon Stranzl that was submitted late Tuesday, but Sears Canada is running out of liquidity and time to decide which route to take.

“We are nearing the end of the road… We have pushed the timelines to preserve optionality, and quickly running out of money,” he told Justice Glenn Hainey on Wednesday.

Justice Hainey extended Sears Canada’s creditor protection, which was slated to end Wednesday, until Nov. 7.

However, a group of lenders who have provided debtor-in-possession financing to Sears Canada to help keep its stores open are pushing for a liquidation agreement to be approved by the court during a hearing on Oct. 13, or risk a default.

According to an amendment to an agreement with lenders submitted Tuesday, the retailer must sign a liquidation agreement by Oct. 7 — revised bid notwithstanding.

A process to then liquidate the remaining Sears locations could start as soon as Oct. 19.

“There is a massive swing in value,” if the process is not started by then, Joe Latham, a lawyer for Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corp. Canada, told the court.

If a proposal to buy the business as a going concern does not materialize, he added, it is key to liquidate before the Christmas season is over to maximize the value the process can attain.

This comes after the court-appointed monitor said in a report earlier this week that Sears Canada is losing money on a weekly basis but will have enough liquidity to fund its operations until Nov. 7.

“We have a very short fuse on a potential liquidation of the company,” said Jeremy Dacks, a lawyer representing Sears from law firm Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP. “We do have a going concern bid that has issues that still need to be resolved and a matter of days, not weeks, to proceed.”

On Wednesday, Justice Hainey gave the green light for the sale of 12 Sears stores and its wholly-owned subsidiary and appliance retail chain Corbeil. The judge also approved the sale of a Sears distribution centre to Indigo Books and Music, as well as the sale of three home services businesses.

A proposal to sell the Viking appliance brand to Canadian Tire, however, was adjourned on Wednesday, as another party has the first right of refusal.

Mark Zigler, a lawyer with Koskie Minsky representing thousands of pensioners, said a decision must be made between the two paths before Sears Canada as soon as possible. He said they are not opposed to a proposal to buy the company as a going concern, but the delays in the process leaves pensioners “bearing the brunt” of the cost.

“The pensioners are paying the price,” he said.

“We cannot continue to be funding this exercise.”

Just Posted

Finishing touches being put on Servus Arena

The finishing touches are being put on Red Deer newest arena. On… Continue reading

New temporary beds will immediately help Red Deer homeless

The 20 new temporary beds approved for Safe Harbour’s warming centre cannot… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP are seeking man posing as a police officer

Suspect is large, in his 30s, with red hair and beard

Update: “Someone knows something” – police

Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle near Ponoka

Two facing dozens of weapons charges in court

A man and woman were arrested last month after RCMP searched a residence and storage locker

Red Deer police seize rifles and shotguns from storage locker

A man and a woman facing nearly 200 charges after 29 firearms seized last month

Notley criticizes MLA who fired staffer after sex harassment complaint

Notley says if Jason Nixon was her house leader he’d be out of a job immediately.

Red Deer needs to find a solution to syringe debris: city manager

City will consider the problem during the 2018 operating budget talks

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

VIDEO: Replay Red Deer Dec. 10

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

VIDEO: B.C. to end geographic area rent increases, close fixed-term lease loopholes

Both clauses allowed landlords to raise rents above the max annual allowable rent increase

UPDATE: Train hits hydro pole, causes outage near Deltaport

No injuries reported but traffic in and out of Deltaport is blocked

A Red Deer daycare coordinator wins provincial award of excellence

Nicole Morrell is a coordinator at Johnstone Daycare

Holiday shopping season picking up in Red Deer

With 18 shopping days left until Christmas, Red Deer businesses are cautiously… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month