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Posted on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 10:16 a.m.

Borders plans to reveal possible acquirer by July 1

By Nathan Bomey

Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc., by the end of the month, plans to reveal the name of an outside company that has submitted the largest bid to acquire the bookstore chain.

A Borders spokeswoman confirmed this morning that the company plans to unveil details of the proposed acquisition on or before July 1, although "discussions are continuing with a number of interested parties," she said.


Close to 400 people work at Borders' headquarters in Ann Arbor.

Melanie Maxwell |

Borders, following standard procedure in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process, would name a "stalking horse" bidder — a leading suitor whose bid would set the bar for other possible acquirers, giving them a chance to consider whether they want to pay more for the firm's assets.

As part of the process, Borders wants to hold a bankruptcy auction on July 19 and a court hearing to get the sale approved days later, according to a Reuters report.

A bankruptcy auction is a high-stakes affair in which lawyers for potential acquirers compete to buy the bankrupt firm, sometimes resulting in a dramatic courtroom scene.

According to previous reports, private equity firms Gores Group and Najafi Companies are among the firms that are considering a bid for Borders, which may have to sell its assets to a liquidator if it can't find a buyer.

As more time goes by, it becomes less likely that Borders will deliver a reorganization plan that would allow the company to successfully emerge from bankruptcy on its own. A sale is now more likely.

A sale to an outside firm likely would allow most Borders store to continue operating, although it's unclear how a sale would affect the company's headquarters in Ann Arbor, where close to 400 employees work. Borders is simultaneously considering a move out of Ann Arbor, possibly to the former Visteon Village complex in Van Buren Township.

The company recently reached a deal with the firm that provided its bankruptcy financing, GE Capital, to allow the company to keep its remaining stores open for now. The company, which has closed about 230 stores since its February bankruptcy filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court's Southern District of New York, had previously said that it might have to close about 50 more stores if it couldn't get lease concessions or extensions.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

Clunky clunky headline. But who says I get to be the decider on that score eh?

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 4:34 p.m.

Target. :)

Will Warner

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 3:46 p.m.

Borders is taking longer to die than General Franco. But seriously, I hope they find some way to salvage themselves. I was going to say the days of the brick and mortar bookstore are over, but B&N somehow holds it together.

Knobby Kabushka

Mon, Jun 20, 2011 : 3:34 p.m.

Hopefully the new people will (one) know about books and book liking customers or (two) they just close all of them down and stuff their pockets with the money because mt experience at the Brighton Borders yesterday was a complete FLOP! after years of going there and buying books/mags, I backed off for the last 6 months but went there yesterday because I got a gift card for FDay and was totally shocked by the changes, did not like them at all and will now shop at B & N or Amazon. Sorry Borders but I could not find anything I was looking for yesterday...