A worst-case scenario appeared to have been avoided late Sunday as CIT Group Inc. was reported to have reached a tentative $3 billion financing deal with bondholders, allowing the entire apparel supply chain to breathe a large sigh of relief.

News of the deal — the most welcome about CIT in more than a week — allowed suppliers and retailers a respite as they sought to cope with the potentially catastrophic effects a CIT bankruptcy would have had on the shipment of fall and holiday goods by vendors, as well as the day-to-day credit requirements of many stores. An attempt by CIT last week to secure a second round of federal financing ended in failure.

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