It appears that Macy's (NYSE:M) is thinking about putting its considerable real estate holdings to use as the foundation for a new round of financing. According to a report in Bloomberg, citing "people with knowledge of the situation," the struggling retailer is considering the flotation of bonds backed by property and other assets it holds.
The article's sources said Macy's is exploring such possibilities in consultation with investment bank Lazard and law firm Kirkland & Ellis. They said the details of such bonds, including interest rate and maturity date, has not been settled. Also, it's possible the company will decide not to opt for such a financing mechanism.
Macy's didn't confirm the report, but it's not denying it, either. Bloomberg quoted a statement from the company saying that it's "exploring numerous options to strengthen our capital structure."
As with many other retailers that have a heavy bricks-and-mortar footprint, Macy's is suffering from the current shutdown of "nonessential" businesses common in the U.S. resulting from the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic. Even before the crisis hit our shores, though, the company had been considered a prime victim of the "retail apocalypse," the migration of consumers to online shopping at the expense of traditional stores.
Macy's has taken numerous steps to protect its business from the economic effects of the coronavirus. It has suspended its dividend and furloughed a great many of its employees, among other measures. Still, numerous pundits are questioning whether the company can continue as a viable enterprise once the outbreak has subsided.
Despite the stream of grim news from the company lately, its shares actually rose on Friday, by 2.8%, although that performance lagged other consumer goods mainstays and the major stock market indexes on the day.