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J.C. Penney stores, real estate worth $4.06 billion: appraisal

A couple walks by a J.C. Penney store in Arcadia, California March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
A couple walks by a J.C. Penney store in Arcadia, California March 1, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) - J.C. Penney Co Inc's stores, distribution centers and headquarters are worth a total of $4.06 billion, according to an appraisal conducted for the department store chain and disclosed on Tuesday in a presentation to potential lenders that was also filed with U.S. regulators.

The 306 stores Penney owns and the 123 locations for which it has ground leases are worth $3.3 billion, according to an appraisal by Cushman & Wakefield. That is less than the $5.9 billion a Morgan Stanley research note last week estimated they were worth.

Penney has 1,102 stores in all, the others being leased.

The distribution centers that ship merchandise to Penney stores, and its Plano, Texas, home office are worth another $762 million.

Penney last month announced Goldman Sachs was arranging a $1.75 billion loan to shore up its finances, backed by its real estate.

Last fiscal year, Penney sales fell 25 percent after former Chief Executive Ron Johnson eliminated the coupons and sales events that were the chain's hallmarks for decades. His action prompted questions about the retailer's liquidity at the same time it was spending hundreds of millions on rolling out branded boutiques within its stores.

Penney is now returning to that discount-heavy strategy and said Tuesday it was planning 26 promotions a year. Johnson's original plan had called for only one sale a year, on Black Friday in November. He was ousted last month and replaced by his predecessor, Myron Ullman.

The chain's new boutiques include shops for designers Michael Graves and Jonathan Adler and clothier Joe Fresh. Penney said in its filing that initial sales at the shops have been "positive."

Penney also said in the presentation that it expects capital spending on the rollouts to be done by early August, relieving pressure on its cash outlays.

Penney shares were up 2.6 percent to $18.72 in afternoon trading.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; editing by Jackie Frank)

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