Borders says sale likely by end of July

AP News
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Posted: Jun 20, 2011 10:29 AM
Borders says sale likely by end of July

Borders Group Inc. hopes to name a bidder by July 1 and sell itself by the end of that month, according to bankruptcy court filings. Forty stores previously targeted for closing are also getting a temporary reprieve.

The bookseller, which filed for bankruptcy protection in February, said in papers filed Friday it plans to name a "stalking horse" bidder by July 1. A "stalking horse" is an initial bidder for a company in a bankruptcy auction. A higher bidder may materialize.

The company said an auction is likely on July 19, with a sale hearing on July 22 and sale closing on July 29.

Borders also said a financing condition has also been amended that required it to close 40 of its 400 remaining stores because it had not reached lease-extension agreements with landlords.

The Ann Arbor, Mich., company will now close the stores only if a sale does not occur by the end of July.

Borders has said it is in discussions with several potential bidders According to the filing, the "going concern sale process," or sale of the company as a complete entity rather than selling off its assets, has gained "significant" momentum in recent weeks.

"The debtors are encouraged that one of the parties presently negotiating with the debtors will emerge as the successful buyer on a going-concern basis," Borders said in the filing.

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 by discounters and online book sellers.