J.C. Penney says it hasn’t hired any advisers to prepare for an in-court restructuring or bankruptcy.
The company statement Friday came after investors were rattled by a report saying the company was hiring experts to help restructure its debt.
Reuters reported Thursday that Penney has held discussions with lawyers and investment bankers who work with struggling companies on debt restructurings. It cited anonymous sources familiar with the matter.
Penney’s shares fell nearly 17% Friday.
Penney continues to maintain strong liquidity but faces a $4 billion debt bill in the next few years.
The department store chain based in Plano, Texas, said it routinely hires outside advisers to evaluate opportunities. But it cited its strong liquidity position and noted it doesn’t have any significant debt maturities due in the near term.