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Sears chairman Lampert wins bankruptcy auction for retailer with $5.2 bln bid

Jan 17 (Reuters) - Sears Holdings Corp said on Thursday its chairman Eddie Lampert won a bankruptcy auction for the U.S. department store chain with an improved takeover bid of $5.2 billion, allowing the 126-year-old retailer to keep its doors open.

Lampert's bid, higher than his earlier $5 billion offer, comes after weeks of deliberations that culminated in a days-long bankruptcy auction held behind closed doors.

The billionaire's proposal, made through his hedge fund ESL Investments Inc, will preserve up to 45,000 jobs, Sears said. (Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)