UPDATE 4-J.C. Penney borrows $850 mln to boost inventory

Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:35pm EDT
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* Fitch calls this a "stop-gap measure"

* Move is part of home goods dept revamp

* Exploring capital-raising options with advisors

* No impact on ratings, outlook-S&P

* Stock ends slightly lower

By Martinne Geller

April 15 (Reuters) - J.C. Penney Co Inc has borrowed $850 million from its $1.85 billion revolving credit facility to help buy inventory as the department store operator revamps its business strategy after a failed turnaround.

The company said on Monday it will use the proceeds to fund its working capital needs and capital expenditures, including buying inventory as it overhauls its home goods department, an effort it expects to complete next month.

The borrowing, which analysts said was bigger and sooner than expected, was seen as merely a "stop-gap measure" by Fitch Ratings, who said it remains concerned about Penney's ability to secure the roughly $1 billion it will need in permanent financing this year.   Continued...