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J.C. Penney Files Chapter 11, 2 Months to Secure Support

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JC Penney has two months to get its plan approved by its funders.

J.C. Penney, which recently made up with its partner, Sephora, has filed Chapter 11 and secured as much as $900 million in financing for a turnaround plan. However, if the company cannot get two-thirds of its bankruptcy lenders to support its business plan by July 15 or secure financing for the plans by August 15, it will be forced to pursue a sale.

In the meantime, the company will continue paying non-furloughed employees, provide benefits to all employees and pay vendors.

Jill Soltau, CEO of JCPenney, said:

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our families, our loved ones, our communities, and our country. As a result, the American retail industry has experienced a profoundly different new reality, requiring JCPenney to make difficult decisions in running our business to protect the safety of our associates and customers and the future of our company.

Until this pandemic struck, we had made significant progress rebuilding our company under our Plan for Renewal strategy – and our efforts had already begun to pay off. While we had been working in parallel on options to strengthen our balance sheet and extend our financial runway, the closure of our stores due to the pandemic necessitated a more fulsome review to include the elimination of outstanding debt.

Implementing this financial restructuring plan through a court-supervised process is the best path to ensure that JCPenney will build on its over 100-year history to serve our customers for decades to come. We believe the RSA and the widespread support we have received from our asset-based lenders and first lien lenders will allow us to pursue a financial restructuring on an expedited timeframe.

We are also encouraged by the level of support we have received from our vendor partners, landlords, and other stakeholders, whose confidence in our business and our people is expected to contribute to a successful reorganization.” “We have a newly refreshed, highly experienced team of retail executives who remain focused on rebuilding our business and restoring financial strength to JCPenney.

This team has continued to innovate even during these challenging times, implementing substantial improvements to our flagship eCommerce platform to increase efficiency and ensure our loyal customers continue to have access to the products they need through elevated shopping experiences.

I would also like to thank all of our outstanding associates for their continued dedication to our company and their passion for meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations. We are continuing to serve our customers as we move through this process with a commitment to working seamlessly with our vendor partners and landlords.

We look forward to emerging from both Chapter 11 and this pandemic as a stronger retailer, continuing to implement our Plan for Renewal, and building capabilities focused on satisfying customers’ wants and needs.

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