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Press release from PR Newswire

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Accelerates Its Option to Acquire Liz Claiborne Brands From Liz Claiborne Inc.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Accelerates Its Option to Acquire Liz Claiborne Brands From Liz Claiborne Inc.08:12 EDT Wednesday, October 12, 2011Transaction Includes the Purchase of Fashion Jewelry Brand MonetPLANO, Texas, Oct. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) today announced that it has reached an asset purchase agreement with Liz Claiborne Inc. (NYSE: LIZ).  Under this agreement, the Company will acquire the worldwide rights for the Liz Claiborne family of brands as well as the U.S. and Puerto Rico rights for the Monet brand for $267.5 million. (Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110222/DA51975LOGO)The Company has been the exclusive licensee for all Liz Claiborne and Claiborne-branded merchandise in the U.S. and Puerto Rico since August 2010. Under the terms of the original 10-year agreement, J. C. Penney Company could exercise its rights to purchase the Liz Claiborne family of brands after year five of the agreement or again at year 10.  Today's announcement accelerates the original agreement and includes the acquisition of the timeless fashion jewelry brand, Monet.  The Company expects that jcpenney will become the exclusive destination for Monet, a brand currently not offered at jcpenney, by August 2012.Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, chairman and chief executive officer, said, "This is the culmination of our extremely successful partnership with Liz Claiborne Inc. The brands we are acquiring hold tremendous appeal for our customers, and the performance of the Liz Claiborne and Claiborne brands at jcpenney has consistently exceeded our high expectations. We will now build on that strength to accelerate the brands' performance."Incoming Chief Executive Officer Ron Johnson added, "As we seek to be part of our customers' everyday lives, ensuring that we offer the brands that are most relevant to them is a crucial component in transforming jcpenney into America's favorite store.  Liz Claiborne and Monet are classic brands that resonate deeply with consumers. Our ownership of these brands gives us a strong foundation for continued innovation and growth."Under the terms of the agreement, the Company will acquire the worldwide rights and intellectual property for the entire Liz Claiborne brand portfolio, including Liz Claiborne, Claiborne, Liz, Liz & Co., Concepts by Claiborne, LC, Elizabeth, LizGolf, LizSport, Liz Claiborne New York (LCNY) and Lizwear brands. Additionally, the Company expects to retain the highly talented Liz Claiborne design team, which will continue to lead the creative process for these brands. The transaction, which is subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino approval, is expected to close within 30 days.Media RelationsDarcie Brossart and Rebecca Winter; (972) 431-3400 jcpcorpcomm@jcpenney.comInvestor RelationsKristin Hays and Angelika Torres; (972) 431-5500 jcpinvestorrelations@jcpenney.comCorporate Websitewww.jcpenney.netAbout J. C. Penney Company, Inc.J. C. Penney Company, Inc., one of America's leading retailers, operates over 1,100 jcpenney department stores throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, as well as one of the largest apparel and home furnishing sites on the Internet, jcp.com. Serving more than half of America's families each year, the jcpenney brand offers a wide array of private, exclusive and national brands which reflect the Company's vision to be America's shopping destination for discovering great styles at compelling prices. Traded as "JCP" on the New York Stock Exchange, the $17.8 billion retailer is transforming its organization to support its Long Range Plan strategies to build a sustainable, profitable enterprise that serves its customers, engages its associates and rewards its shareholders. For more information, visit www.jcpenney.net.This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from planned or expected results. Those risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, general economic conditions, including inflation, recession, unemployment levels, consumer spending patterns, credit availability and debt levels, changes in store traffic trends, the cost of goods, trade restrictions, changes in pricing strategies, changes in tariff, freight and shipping rates, changes in the cost of fuel and other energy and transportation costs, increases in wage and benefit costs, competition and retail industry consolidations, interest rate fluctuations, dollar and other currency valuations, the impact of weather conditions, risks associated with war, an act of terrorism or pandemic, and a systems failure and/or security breach that results in the theft, transfer or unauthorized disclosure of customer, employee or Company information.  Please refer to the Company's most recent Form 10-K and subsequent filings for a further discussion of risks and uncertainties. Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisions. We do not undertake to update these forward-looking statements as of any future date.SOURCE J. C. Penney Company, Inc.