CIT Group Inc., the 101-year-old commercial finance company seeking to avoid collapse, is considering an offer from some of its largest bondholders to provide $3 billion in bridge financing, according to two people briefed on the firm’s deliberations.
The lender’s board was scheduled to meet today to discuss the offer, which would give the New York-based company a chance to restructure its debt outside of bankruptcy, said one of the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are confidential.
CIT needs time to strike deals with bondholders to reduce debt after the U.S. wouldn’t give the firm a second bailout. CIT, which reported $3 billion of losses in the last eight quarters, received a $2.33 billion rescue in December after converting to a bank holding company to be eligible to sell bonds backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
“We still think it is a losing effort in the intermediate term although some bondholders may end up better than others with this structure,” said David Hendler, an analyst at CreditSights Inc. in New York. “The wholesale model is dead and creating a branch deposit system from scratch is too expensive for CIT and takes too long to build to help any time soon.”