updated 7/24/2009 8:43:08 AM ET 2009-07-24T12:43:08

Small business lender CIT Group Inc. said Friday it’s amending the terms of a tender offer for its notes but warns it may have to seek bankruptcy protection if enough bondholders don’t agree to the terms.

The New York-based financial company said in a regulatory filing that if the offer is successful it won’t file for bankruptcy and will pursue a restructuring through other unspecified ways.

The Wall Street Journal reported before the filing that CIT had rebuffed as too low an offer from two conglomerates to buy parts of the company but was now considering a similar breakup. The newspaper cites unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Under CIT’s amended offer disclosed Friday, holders of certain notes due in August will get an extra $50 per $1,000 principal of the notes if they tender them by July 31 for a total of $825 per $1,000 in principal.

CIT Group, one of the nation’s largest lenders to small and midsize businesses, has been scrambling in recent weeks to find new funding as it wrestles with liquidity pressure and maturing debt.

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