CIT Group Inc's board approved a restructuring plan on Thursday, clearing the way for the commercial lender to launch a large debt exchange offer or to file for prepackaged bankruptcy if that failed, a person knowledgeable about the matter said.

CIT, which caters to small and mid-sized businesses, could announce the plan as soon as Thursday night, this person said, declining to be identified because the talks are not public yet.

(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal; editing by Carol Bishopric)