JC Penney liquidation ‘not in the cards,’ retailer moves toward a sale

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A J.C. Penney store in Laguna Hills, California

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

For bankrupted J.C. Penney, a liquidation is “not in the cards,” according to the department store chain’s attorney. 

Penney is moving forward with a sale that should be completed by this fall, attorney Joshua Sussberg of Kirkland & Ellis said during a court hearing Wednesday afternoon. 

“I want to say, unequivocally, we have had not one discussion about a liquidation,” Sussberg said about Penney’s restructuring process. “It’s simply not in the cards.” 

Sussberg called attention to a report earlier in the week from the New York Post that said the private-equity firm Sycamore was planning to make a $1.75 billion bid to buy the 118-year-old department store chain and merge it with the department store chain Belk. 

He called the story “ill-informed” and said, regarding Sycamore’s plans to merge Penney with Belk, “that is completely untrue.” 

Sycamore declined to comment. 

There are three separate bids being considered for Penney’s real estate and other assets, which would keep the retailer operating its own stores, Sussberg said. 

He declined to name the bidders, saying the proposals are confidential. 

Penney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 15, weighed down by debt and battered by the coronavirus pandemic.  

This story is developing. Please check back for updates. 

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