Sears bankruptcy hearing Monday

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The moment of truth has arrived for Sears, once the United States’ largest and most important retailer.

US Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Drain is due to hold a hearing starting Monday on Sears’ plan to sell its assets, including 425 stores, to its chairman Eddie Lampert. It is the only chance to save the jobs of up to 45,000 employees of the Sears and Kmart chains and keep the 133-year old retailer in business.

Lampert’s rescue bid is opposed by creditors, including vendors and landlords, who argue that the company should be shut down and liquidated.

Sears hopes to have a decision approving the sale by February 8, and that it hopes to close the sale by February 19.

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