CIT Group Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection

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CIT.jpgCIT Group Inc., a 101-year-old commercial lender, filed for bankruptcy with financing from investor Carl Icahn after the credit crunch dried up its funding and a U.S. bailout and debt exchange offer failed.

New York-based CIT listed $71 billion in assets and $64.9 billion in debt in a Chapter 11 filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. None of its operating subsidiaries, including CIT Bank, a Utah-based bank, were included in the filing, and operations will proceed as normal, CIT said in a statement.

The bankruptcy “will allow CIT to continue to provide funding to our small business and middle-market customers,” said Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Peek in a statement.

CIT has $1 billion from Icahn to fund operations while it reorganizes. The credit line, to be drawn on until Dec. 31, will be a so-called debtor-in-possession loan.

The company had asked bondholders to exchange $30 billion in debt for new securities and equity. Icahn made a competing offer. After CIT’s offer expired at midnight on Oct. 29, the company said it was tallying 150,000 ballots.

The company’s debt holders had rejected the exchange offer, with 90 percent of holders who voted opting for the prepackaged bankruptcy plan. The plan will cut $10 billion in debt, and CIT seeks “quick confirmation” of its plan, CIT Group said in a statement.

CIT said it would try to emerge from bankruptcy two months from the date of its filing.

(Source: Bloomberg.com)