Sycamore Partners should not be allowed to buy JCPenney out of bankruptcy because of its long history of closing stores and decimating jobs, a worker advocacy group said Tuesday.
A group of current and former retail workers from Toys ‘R’ Us, Kmart, Sears and other bankrupt retailers are sounding the alarm about the Big Apple-based private equity firm’s plans, first reported by The Post last month, to buy the 118-year-old department store for $1.75 billion, according to a letter the group sent to David Jones, the judge overseeing the Houston, Texas, bankruptcy.
“Sycamore Partners has a history of stripping assets from retailers, leading to store closures and layoffs at retailers like Nine West and Aeropostale,” according to the letter, which represents United for Respect’s Wall Street accountability committee. “We have lived through the bankruptcy and liquidation of our Wall Street-owned retail companies. We know the toll that a retail bankruptcy takes on our lives and our long-term financial stability.”
Plano, Texas-based JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 15 with 850 stores. It has since said it would close at least 154 stores permanently.
Sycamore’s offer was the highest of three bids JCPenney received at the end of July. The other bids came from Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay Company for $1.7 billion and from mall operators Simon Property and Brookfield Property for $1.650 billion.
The bidders were asked to up their offers on Aug. 2, a source with knowledge of the situation told The Post.