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From Home Furnishing Business

Sears Canada Asks Court to Liquidate, Close Remaining Stores

Struggling retailer Sears Canada said Tuesday it will ask the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for permission to liquidate its remaining stores and cease operations.

The retailer, which has been operating under protection from creditors since June, said the court will hold a hearing on its liquidation motion on Friday. If it is approved, going-out-of-business sales will commence next week.

“Following exhaustive efforts, no viable transaction for the company to continue as a going concern was received,” the retailer said in a statement. “The company deeply regrets this pending outcome and the resulting loss of jobs and store closures.”

Shortly after filing for protection from creditors – the equivalent of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States – Sears Canada closed 59 stores, including 20 of its 90 full-line department stores. However, that wasn’t enough to keep the company afloat, and efforts by former Sears Canada Chairman Brandon Stranzl, among others, to put together a deal to buy the company apparently failed.

Various media reports said Stranzl, who resigned as chairman in August, was unable to line up financing in time to meet the court’s deadline.

Sears Canada operates as a licensee of U.S.-based Sears Holdings, although Sears Holdings owns about 11.7% of Sears Canada stock. Another 45.3% of the stock is owned by an investment fund controlled by Sears Holdings Chairman Edward Lampert.

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