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J.C. Penney Lenders Seek Higher Bids From Potential Buyers

  • Early offers of around $1.8 billion were seen as too low
  • Court may favor bid that preserves some of 85,000 jobs
A closed J.C. Penney Co. store stands in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

A closed J.C. Penney Co. store stands in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
Updated on

A group of lenders steering J.C. Penney Co.’s bankruptcy process is asking potential buyers of the retail chain to increase their bids after a round of offers in July were seen as too low, according to people familiar with the matter.

The lenders are pushing for offers closer to the approximately $2.2 billion of J.C. Penney’s debt they hold, the people said, asking not to be named because the deals are private. Earlier proposals from mall owners and retail firms added up to payments of about $1.8 billion. If those don’t improve, the lenders could acquire the company through a credit bid, in which they forgive the debt in return for ownership.