Sears chairman Eddie Lampert has rescued the business after triumphing in a bankruptcy auction with a takeover bid of around $5.2bn (£4bn).

Lampert was successful after weeks of negotiations, according to Reuters. The deal is expected to save up to 45,000 jobs and keep Sears’ 425 stores open.

Sources said the auction concluded in New York in the early hours of this morning. Lampert’s takeover must now be documents and approved by a US bankruptcy judge.

Sears declined to comment on the deal.

Sears filed for bankruptcy protection last October after buckling under the weight of falling sales and a $134m (£102.1m) debt payment.

The 132-year-old business, which was once the world’s biggest retailer, lodged the Chapter 11 filing in the federal bankruptcy court in New York.

Sears has been struggling to reinvent itself for a number of years amid increasing competition from the likes of Walmart and online titan Amazon.

The business has lost a staggering $11.7bn (£8.9bn) since 2010, the last year it turned a profit.

Sales have plunged 60% since then and it has closed more than 2,600 stores since 2005 in a desperate bid to adapt to the changing retail landscape.