J.C. Penney Chief Executive Myron Ullman has won some breathing space after receiving a $1.75 billion loan commitment from Goldman Sachs, which he can use to fund the struggling retailer’s operations and pay down debt.
Monday’s announcement came after last week’s good news that billionaire investor George Soros had taken a 7.9 percent stake in J.C. Penney, which sent the company’s shares soaring as much as 15 percent on Friday.
Ullman, who got his old job back three weeks ago after former Chief Executive Ron Johnson was dumped, has been battling to repair the company’s balance sheet, which has been hurt by slumping sales and costly renovations to about 500 department stores.
J.C. Penney lost nearly $1 billion in 2012 as sales dropped 25 percent and the company shed more than half its market value amid doubts about Johnson’s strategy to turnaround the retailer.
To plug the cash drain, Ullman has raised prices on some brands and plans to draw down $850 million from the company’s $1.85 billion revolving credit line to replenish inventory.