(Reuters) Sears Holdings Corp Chairman Eddie Lampert submitted a $4.4 billion takeover bid for the bankrupt U.S. retailer representing its only chance of escaping liquidation and laying off tens of thousands of workers a spokesman for the billionaires hedge fund said on Friday. A Sears logo is seen inside a department store in Garden City New York U.S. May 23 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton Lamperts bid is backed in part by $1.3 billion in financing from three different financial institutions the spokesman for his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc said. It would preserve about 425 stores that Sears has yet to close and secure the jobs of up to 50000 workers out of the 68000 employed by the retailer. An affiliate of ESL Transform Holdco LLC submitted the bid the spokesman said. People familiar with the matter said the financing comes from Sears existing lenders Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc as well Royal Bank of Canada which was not previously a lender which together agreed to provide a $950 million asset-based loan and a $350 million revolving credit line.
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