NEW YORK — R.H. Macy & Co. cleared its final hurdle before exiting from bankruptcy when a federal judge on Thursday approved a plan for the renowned retailer to merge with Federated Department Stores Inc.
"I've signed the order of confirmation," U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton L. Lifland intoned just before 1 p.m. EST at a hearing, effectively ending Macy's nearly three-year refuge from a legacy of big debts.
Lifland's endorsement was the last significant step before the combination of the former rivals could be completed. The union of Macy and Federated will create the nation's biggest department store company, encompassing more than 335 stores with annual sales exceeding $13 billion.
The retailer known for its Thanksgiving parade and store in Manhattan's Herald Square still has a few loose ends to tie up before the merger can be accomplished, which is expected by the end of the year.