J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is in talks with financiers to secure a $500 million loan that would shore up the company’s cash reserves. The firm has been in the center of a crisis lately, firing CEO Ron Johnson and replacing him with his predecessor while struggling to keep its day to day cash flow in check.
The retail giant is in talks with a group of financiers led by Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) to secure the loan that sources close to the matter said would be worth around $500 million. Other financiers involved in the talks included TPG’s lending arm and Gordon Brother’s Group according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
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According to sources quoted by the paper, the loan would come due in five years. The company’s retail inventory as well as its intellectual property are to be used as collateral. According to a recent report from Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) (ETR:DBK), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) needs $1 billion in financing in order to stabilize it short term.
The pursuit of that capital is the most important part of the company’s new CEO, Mike Ullman’s, job. After he has managed to stabilize the retailer’s position in the short term, he needs to re-establish the company along the lines he drew when he was the old CEO of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP). That means offering constant mark downs and discounts to its customers in order to drive volume.
Last Monday, J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) announced that it was drawing $850 million from a revolving credit line in order to help stabilize short term finances. If the $500 million that appears to be in the works today comes through, the company will have a much better chance of surviving in its current form.
The kind of emergency financing that J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) is currently seeking is not a business model. The firm still has problems with quickly declining sales and is constantly leaking money. Meaningful changes to the company’s business model are necessary if it is to survive through 2013.
The acquisition of short term financing is an important step for J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), and it is one that the firm needed to make in order to live through the summer. The real work will have to come now, however, as the firm struggles to make ends meet.