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JCPenney emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy

By Huw Hughes


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Iconic US department store chain JCPenney has exited Chapter 11 bankruptcy just in time for the vital holiday shopping period.

The company announced Monday it has completed its previously announced sale, under which Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management, Inc. have acquired substantially all of the company’s retail and operating assets.

“Today is an exciting day for our company, as we have accomplished our goal of putting JCPenney on a secure path for the future as a private company so that we can continue to serve our loyal customers,” said Jill Soltau, CEO of JCPenney, in a statement.

“With this closing, our operating company has exited Chapter 11 and is continuing under new ownership and the JCPenney banner. This milestone would not be possible without the commitment and hard work of our associates and the support of our vendor partners. Throughout the 2020 holiday season and beyond, we remain focused on implementing our plan for renewal to offer compelling merchandise, drive traffic, deliver an engaging experience, fuel growth and build a results-minded culture.”

JCPenney exits Chapter 11

Brian Kingston, CEO of real estate at Brookfield Asset Management, said: “We are excited to help lead the turnaround of a storied institution while saving tens of thousands of jobs and continuing to serve over 35 million customers.”

Like the majority of retailers across the country, JCPenney was forced to close stores for months due to lockdown restrictions earlier this year, adding to already difficult pre-Covid trading as the retailer struggled with slowing foot traffic amid growing competition from online rivals.

JCPenney filed for bankruptcy protection in mid-May, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on its business. It entered into a restructuring support agreement with lenders of its first lien debt to reduce its outstanding debts and strengthen its financial position.

That same month, Neiman Marcus Group Inc., J.Crew Group Inc., and Stage Stores Inc. also filed for bankruptcy protection, while in the following months, Brooks Brothers and Lord & Taylor followed the same path.

Photo credit: JCPenney newsroom