(Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp CEO Eddie Lampert has stepped in to contribute towards a financing package of between $500 million and $600 million that the U.S. department store operator was close to securing on Sunday to fund operations during bankruptcy proceedings, people familiar with the matter said.
Lampert, who is also the company's largest shareholder and lender, is hoping the deal, combined with a program of divestitures, will give Sears a fighting chance of escaping liquidation ahead of the key holiday shopping season, the sources said. Big banks are expected to provide significant portions of the financing, the sources added.
The sources cautioned that there was always a chance that the negotiations could collapse at the last minute and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.
A Sears spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Reporting by Jessica DiNapoli and Mike Spector in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)