An empty parking lot is located outside a closed JC Penney Co. store in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee on Thursday, April 16, 2020.
Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Talks have been held with three potential bidders, including mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield, to establish J.C. Saving Penney – and potentially keeping hundreds of stores open for business.
But those discussions have since gotten into a "stalemate" and, according to the chain's attorney, time is running out to keep the company alive.
Penney's top lenders, including H / 2 Capital Partners, will now make a loan offer to own the retailer as a stand-alone business, Kirkland & Ellis attorney Joshua Sussberg said during a bankruptcy court hearing Monday. He said the transaction should be completed within 30 days.
"Our lenders are no longer held hostage in negotiations with third parties," said Sussberg. "While it is possible for one of the bidders to re-enter the deal, we can no longer stand idly by and allow negotiating positions to stand in the way of 70,000 jobs and our supplier base."
He added that Penney will close a number of other stores as talks with bidders have failed. The department store chain announced last month that it would lay off around 1,000 employees as around 150 locations in the United States were closed. When she filed for bankruptcy, she still operated around 860 branches.
"Several locations that were on our original closing list but were removed due to negotiations will be closed immediately," said Sussberg.
Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 15, which was burdened by debt and ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
At the end of July, Sussberg announced during a virtual hearing that Penney was driving a sale that should be completed by the fall of this year. A liquidation was "not in sight," he said at the time.
The three bidders for Penney, according to someone familiar with these discussions, included private equity firm Sycamore, a duo of Simon and Brookfield, and Hudson & # 39; s Bay Co., owner of Saks Fifth Avenue.
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