Tags: Penney | Looks | Raise | Billion

Struggling JC Penney Looks to Raise at Least $1 Billion

Thursday, 11 April 2013 09:51 PM

J.C. Penney Co. hired Blackstone Group LP to help it raise at least $1 billion, said people with knowledge of the situation, as the retailer tries to recover from its worst annual loss in more than 25 years.

J.C. Penney, the third-largest U.S. department-store chain, is exploring a range of options to raise the money, including selling a partial stake to some private-equity firms, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private.

The Plano, Texas-based company ousted Chief Executive Ron Johnson this week after a dismal first year on the job and reinstated his predecessor, Myron E. Ullman III. Sales in the year ended Feb. 2 plunged 25 percent to $13 billion, the lowest since at least 1987. Ullman, 66, served as J.C. Penney’s chairman and CEO for about seven years before Johnson, 54, took over in November 2011.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Thursday that J.C. Penney hired Blackstone to raise capital. A spokesperson for Blackstone declined to comment.

J.C. Penney said it couldn’t confirm whether it hired Blackstone to raise capital.

“In recent months, we have hired outside advisers to provide us with their expertise about how to best position the company from a financial standpoint during the transformation,” Daphne Avila, a spokeswoman for the retailer, said in an e-mailed statement. “It is safe to assume this will continue as part of the work now underway under Mike Ullman to develop a game plan for the Company going forward.”

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J.C. Penney Co. hired Blackstone Group LP to help it raise at least $1 billion, said people with knowledge of the situation, as the retailer tries to recover from its worst annual loss in more than 25 years.
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Thursday, 11 April 2013 09:51 PM
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