NEW YORK — Macy’s creditors said the “getting-to-know-you meeting” with Federated Department Stores Wednesday was a waste of time.
Creditors said they expected Federated to outline its case for a merger with Macy’s, but instead got a review of financial figures they already knew.
“It was a major-league non-event,” griped one creditor. “We received some background information on Federated. Big deal, they’re a public company.”
The source added: “The meeting could have been canceled and nobody would have been the worse for wear.”
The meeting with Macy’s representatives from its unsecured and bondholder committees followed a similar gathering Tuesday with secured creditors.
The meetings were headed by Ronald Tysoe, Federated’s vice chairman and chief financial officer, according to the creditors. Allen I. Questrom, chairman and chief executive officer, was not present.
Federated began courting the groups after Macy’s said it was not interested in a union with its Cincinnati-based rival. Macy’s had expressed a desire to be included in the Tuesday and Wednesday meetings, but Federated said no.
Attendees said they thought Federated wanted to find out how creditors felt about Macy’s efforts to extend its exclusive right to file a plan until Sept. 15.
“Federated is very cagey,” said another creditor. “They’re trying to learn as much as possible, while revealing as little as they can before they show their hand.”
A bankruptcy court hearing on the Macy’s request is scheduled for Tuesday. The plan is currently due March 15.
One of Macy’s primary needs for a stand-alone reorganization plan is financing, and the chain is reportedly exploring interests from Connecticut to Hong Kong.
Macy’s is already in discussions with Stamford, Conn.-based General Electric Capital Corp. for possible increased loans and post-Chapter 11 financing.
Myron E. Ullman, chairman and chief executive officer, is planning a trip to Hong Kong in March. Sources speculate that he could meet with representatives from Wharf Holdings, a cash-rich conglomerate run by Peter Woo, Ullman’s former college roommate. Prior to joining Macy’s, Ullman was an executive at Wharf.
Macy’s declined comment on reports of Ullman’s travel plans.