Borders extends leases on 11 stores

AP News
Posted: Jun 16, 2011 5:07 PM
Borders extends leases on 11 stores

Borders has reached agreements with landlords to extend the leases on 11 stores it had previously asked bankruptcy court permission to close, according to court filings.

Last week the bookstore chain, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February, asked permission to start liquidating 51 stores because of a condition for its financing. But it said at the time it was actively working to keep them open.

Now Borders Group Inc. has 40 stores remaining on last week's closing list. However, company said in documents filed Wednesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York that it is continuing to negotiate with landlords and that number will likely shrink.

Borders also canceled an auction to select a liquidator for those stores because it is in talks with its creditors to eliminate the financing condition that requires it to close the stores.

A hearing on the matter will be held June 20.

Borders had 642 stores before it entered bankruptcy protection and has closed 228, leaving just more than 400 in operation.

Earlier this month the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company said it is negotiating to sell some or all of its stores and could file a plan for that process within a few weeks.

Borders, which started with a single store in 1971, helped pioneer the book superstore concept along with Barnes & Noble Inc. but was brought down by heightened competition from discounters and online book sellers.