NEW YORK -- Bankruptcy Judge Burton R. Lifland signed an order Wednesday extending Cyrus R. Vance's term as mediator in the R.H. Macy & Co. Chapter 11 case through Sept. 30.

Judge Lifland appointed Vance mediator on Feb. 22, shortly after the two-year anniversary of the Macy's bankruptcy filing, to help accelerate the reorganization process and shape a consensual plan.

Vance's initial term expired Wednesday.

As reported, Macy's is expected to delay its filing of a plan of reorganization until late July from its previously announced goal of June 30, in order to listen to Federated Department Stores' plan for merging the two companies.

Currently, Macy's exclusivity period for gaining acceptances to its plan runs through Nov. 1, which bars Federated or any other creditor from filing a plan until after that date.

Sources close to Macy's said it was premature to say whether the retailer would need additional time to gather acceptances to the plan.

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