NEW YORK -- In apparent response to takeover threats from Federated Department Stores, R.H. Macy & Co. Inc. intends to file a reorganization plan by Sept. 15, according to sources close to the Chapter 11 case.

As expected, Macy's filed a motion Thursday in bankruptcy court here, seeking a six-month extension of its exclusive period to file a plan. The deadline is March 15, and a hearing on the request is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Macy's would not say when it expects to file a plan, but Myron E. Ullman, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement: "We are actively involved in negotiations with our creditor groups and intend to use this period to vigorously pursue the development of a consensual plan of reorganization."

Ullman added that he thought the extension was necessary because of the size and complexity of the case.

There were also reports that Tom Shull, Macy's executive vice president and point man in the reorganization, had been talking with General Electric Capital Corp., Macy's major lender. Shull could not be reached for comment. It's conceivable that G.E. could be a major player in Macy's reorganization.

Macy's faces increased pressure from Federated, which said it wants to merge with Macy's.

Federated has invited representatives of all Macy's major creditors to a meeting next Thursday to explain Federated's financial condition and stress the benefits of a union.

Although Fidelity Investments, Macy's largest creditor, appears eager to shorten the reorganization process, Macy's bondholders' committee favors the extension Macy's is requesting.

"We're going along with the plan," said Robert Miller of Berlack, Israels & Liberman, counsel to the committee. "Macy's is doing the right thing. Macy's isn't ready to emerge from bankruptcy."

Fidelity Investments could not be reached for comment.

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