FILE PHOTO: The Sears logo is seen outside a store in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo(Reuters) – Sears Holdings Corp (SHLDQ.PK) Chairman Eddie Lampert’s ESL Partners LP has submitted a bid valued at $4.6 billion to buy the bankrupt retailer, the hedge fund said on Thursday. Reuters had earlier reported that Sears is negotiating with Lampert’s hedge fund on a potential deal to acquire stores and businesses that would aim to keep the 125-year-old retailer operating as a going concern, citing court papers and sources. Sears faces a Dec. 15 deadline to find a buyer to keep it in business, according to court papers. ESL’s bid to buy all the assets of Sears, includes about $1.1 billion in liabilities from various company services and programs, as well as a $1.8 billion credit bid. The bid also includes the roll-over of about $271 million in cash collateral supporting letter of credit facility and $950 million in cash to be funded with the proceeds of new asset-based credit facility to be obtained by the new company. ESL said the new company formed through the deal would provide employment to about 50,000 Sears employees. Lampert, who stepped down as chief executive officer when Sears filed for bankruptcy protection Oct. 15, is the company’s largest creditor and shareholder. Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb ChakrabartyOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.