Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is offering struggling lender CIT Group a $6 billion lifeline.
In a letter Monday to CIT's board of directors, Icahn is offering a loan to the New York-based lender to small and midsize businesses. He says the loan would save the company $150 million in fees.
The move would allow bondholders to avoid voting for a revised debt exchange offer CIT Group proposed late Friday that Icahn says unfairly favors large bondholders.
CIT is trying to reduce its near-term debt burden by $5.7 billion as it attempts to stave off collapse. CIT Group's losses have been mounting as its borrowing costs have outstripped its income amid the credit crunch.
Shares of CIT are up 16 cents, or 14.3 percent, to $1.28 in morning trading.