Edward S. Lampert, the chief executive of Sears, offered on Monday to buy real estate assets and the Kenmore brand from the troubled retailer in what would be his latest attempt to save it.
In a letter to the Sears board, Mr. Lampert, whose ESL Investments hedge fund owns a controlling stake in the company, said ESL would be also be willing to buy the retailer’s home-services and its appliance-parts units.
Any deal involving Sears and Mr. Lampert is complicated by his dual roles running both the retailer and the hedge fund, which is also a major Sears lender.
Mr. Lampert told the Sears board in his letter that selling the assets he is offering to buy would generate cash for the heavily indebted retailer, which has been trying to recover from years of slumping store sales by expanding its online business.
Amid the turnaround effort, Sears has already sold some assets, closed hundreds of stores and laid off workers across the country. The company sold its Craftsman tool brand to Stanley Black & Decker for $775 million last year.
In his letter to the board, Mr. Lampert offered to pay Sears $500 million for the home-services and appliance-parts units, but did not mention a price for the Kenmore brand or the real estate. He noted that the company had been trying to sell the assets for nearly two years, but had failed to find other buyers.
If Mr. Lampert and the Sears board strike a deal, the diminished company would still own more than 500 Sears stores, an auto-repair business, a credit card unit and about 400 Kmart stores.
Mr. Lampert said in his letter that he would recuse himself from any board discussions about his proposal. Any deal would need to be approved by a majority of Sears shareholders not affiliated with ESL, the letter said.