Shares of Sears Holdings Corp. rose 12.2 percent Monday after the company said in a regulatory filing that it has a new short-term line of credit from ESL Investments for $200 million.
The shares closed at $9.04 in Nasdaq trading. That’s above the 52-week low of $5.50, but substantially below the high of $18.18.
According to the regulatory filing, ESL holds a 56.9 percent stake — 63.7 million shares — in Sears. ESL is the hedge fund run by Edward S. Lampert, who is also the chairman and chief executive officer of Sears.
The filing said the new line of credit is a short-term loan that matures in 151 days from July 13, and carries an annual fixed interest rate of 9.75 percent. The filing also noted that ESL “expect[s] from time to time” to enter into additional short-term line of credit loans, subject to borrowing base limitations, for a principal amount of up to an additional $100 million at a fixed interest rate of not less than 8.25 percent per year. Any new loans would have a maturity date between 7 and 179 days.
According to a spokesman for Sears, the $200 million committed by ESL is an incremental component to an existing $500 million credit facility. He said the loan is for general corporate purposes and available to subsidiaries of Sears. The $500 million facility had an original maturity slated for July 2017, but was extended until January 2018. Per an amendment earlier this year to the loan agreement, Sears has the option to further extend the maturity of the loan for another six months.
In Lampert’s July 10 blog on Sears, in which he announced the closing of eight more Sears stores and 35 Kmart locations, he noted that the company is making progress on the restructuring program unveiled earlier this year, and that it is on track to achieve its $1.25 billion in annualized cost savings target. To that end, the company last month closed on more than $200 million of real estate transactions. And the retailer has said it has more assets and real estate locations that it can monetize to help it keep the company afloat.
With the additional store closures, the company would likely be operating a little over 500 Kmart stores and under 650 Sears stores by year-end.