NEW YORK — R.H. Macy & Co. huddled Wednesday with Fidelity Investors — its largest secured creditor — in a reported effort to convince the fund not to sell its $500 million claim to a rival retailer.
Fidelity, a Boston-based mutual fund company, has acquired most of Macy’s bank debt and is actively shopping its stake to retailers.
Macy’s reportedly asked for the meeting in an apparent effort to thwart a takeover. Sources said Fidelity also met with Federated Department Stores, currently the leading candidate to take over the bankrupt giant. Federated on Friday acquired half of Prudential Insurance Co.’s $1 billion secured claim against Macy’s. The breakup of the Prudential claim established Fidelity as Macy’s largest creditor.
“Fidelity has approached almost every retailer to buy its claim,” said one source close to the Macy Chapter 11 case. “Fidelity wants to put Macy’s in play.”
The source, who did not attend the meeting, added, “It’s reasonable to assume that Macy’s will offer something to Fidelity to sit on its claim until Macy’s comes up with its reorganization plan.”
Other sources said the two companies most interested in the Fidelity claim are Dillard Department Stores and May Department Stores.
Federated said Sunday it would like to merge with Macy’s, but Macy’s has rejected that proposal. Macy’s, Federated and Fidelity declined comment Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Macy’s is reportedly planning a board meeting on Friday to discuss the week’s events.