KKR Among Firms Exploring Stake in J.C. Penney

The New York Post reports that private equity firms, including Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, have been considering purchasing a majority stake in J.C. Penney as the retailer struggles to turn itself around while dealing with a cash shortfall. J.C. Penney reportedly hired The Blackstone Group to oversee the process and may have been approached by TPG, Leonard Green and Apollo Management, in addition to KKR, in the past month about a potential deal.

One reason private equity players might be interested in a buyout right now is that Penney's can potentially be bought at a huge discount. But another reason just may be its real estate portfolio--the department chain's stores are so valuable some analysts have called for it to spin off a REIT.

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