NEW YORK (AP) -- JC Penney expects to emerge from bankruptcy protection before Christmas under a new ownership agreement that would save tens of thousands of jobs.

The beleaguered, century-old retailer said Wednesday that it has filed a draft asset purchase agreement with the two biggest mall owners in the U.S.

Substantially all of J.C. Penney's retail and operating assets will be acquired by Brookfield Asset Management Inc. and Simon Property Group through a combination of cash and new term loan debt.

Details of that deal first emerged last month in bankruptcy court.

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