The big picture: Lampert, who has received at least part of the blame for the department store chain’s demise, heads the hedge fund that is the retailer’s biggest creditor and owns equity in the company. Investors have until Jan. 4 to determine whether his hedge fund, ESL Investments, is a qualified buyer. After that, the bid will be weighed against liquidation offers to determine whether the chain will be kept alive or closed down permanently.
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