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I found this article in the news, claiming that Sears Canada will ask court for permission to liquidate all remaining stores. I can't see why approval would be necessary. Why would it be illegal to close your own stores without approval? In what cases would it be possible for permission to be denied?

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When a company is under court-supervised protection against creditors (bankruptcy), you can't just do stuff like closing stores, as you might if you were operating free and clear. Here is an overview of Canadian bankruptcy law. It basically comes down to the fact that they sought protection by the government against their creditors, and if you do that, the government requires you to follow broad rules (and the courts will make sure you do).

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    For instance, to stop someone flogging all the bits that might actually be worth something to a friend for a dollar and leaving all the creditors with nothing to pick over. – TripeHound Oct 11 '17 at 8:07

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