December 7, 2020

(Reuters) – J.C. Penney Co Inc said on Monday its retail and operating assets would exit Chapter 11 as two of its biggest landlords, Simon Property Group and Brookfield Asset Management Inc, have acquired nearly all such assets.

The iconic 118-year-old department store had filed for bankruptcy in May after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to temporarily close its then nearly 850 stores.

J.C. Penney will continue to operate the properties and distribution centers moved into the property holding companies.

Chief Executive Officer Jill Soltau said the JCPenney banner would continue to serve its customers.

With the completion of the sale, the company will have access to about $1.5 billion in new financing, it said.

The property holding companies that comprise 160 of the retailer’s real estate assets and all of its distribution centers are expected to complete the restructuring process and emerge from bankruptcy protection in the first half of 2021.

“We … are very pleased to help preserve this iconic institution and save tens of thousands of jobs,” Simon Property Group Chief Executive David Simon said.

(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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