(AP) — A bankruptcy judge has blessed a $5.2 billion plan by Sears chairman and biggest shareholder Eddie Lampert to keep the iconic business going.

The approval means roughly 425 stores and 45,000 jobs will be preserved.

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Lampert’s bid through his ESL hedge fund overcame opposition from a group of creditors, including mall owners and suppliers, that tried to block the sale and pushed hard for liquidation.

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Even with this latest reprieve, Sears’ long-term survival remains an open question. Lampert hasn’t put forth any specific reinvention plans and the company still faces cutthroat competition from Amazon, Target and Walmart.

Lampert steered Hoffman Estates-based Sears into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October. The company’s corporate parent, which also owns Kmart, had 687 stores and 68,000 employees at the time of the filing.

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