Billionaire investor Carl Icahn, who had challenged CIT Group Inc's restructuring plan, said on Friday he was now backing the company's pre-packaged bankruptcy and would provide an additional $1 billion in credit to the lender.

The cash-strapped commercial lender that has been struggling to avoid bankruptcy said the additional credit from Icahn could be drawn as debtor-in-possession financing in the event of a bankruptcy.

CIT said an independent ballot company was counting more than 150,000 investors' votes on its restructuring plan and a possible debt exchange.

Icahn was not available to comment beyond his announcement.

CIT shares, after being halted, reopened down 10 percent at 87 cents.

(Reporting by Elinor Comlay)