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published on September 9, 2020 - 2:03 PM
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(AP) — Mall owners Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Partners are close to a deal to buy department store chain J.C. Penney out of bankruptcy and keep the chain running.

Penney’s lawyer Josh Sussberg announced the tentative pact, which will save roughly 70,000 jobs, during a brief hearing in bankruptcy court Wednesday.

Brookfield Properties operates both Fig Garden Village and Visalia Mall. J.C. Penney has locations in the Fashion Fair Mall and in Selma.

Sussberg noted that a letter of intent including details of the pact will be filed with the bankruptcy court in the next day.

The 118-year-old department store based in Plano, Texas, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in mid-May, one of the biggest retailers to do so since the pandemic temporarily shut down non-essential stores around the country.

Sussberg said Penney will be left with $1 billion in cash after the deal is completed.

Neither Simon nor Brookfield responded to requests for comment.

The Business Journal contributed to this reporting.

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