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Posted on Sun, Jul 17, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

Key deadline passes without new bidders emerging for Borders

By Nathan Bomey

Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc. came a step closer to liquidation today when a key deadline passed without any prospective new suitors submitting official bids to acquire the company in a bankruptcy auction, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.


Borders employs about 400 workers at its Ann Arbor headquarters.

Melanie Maxwell |

The 5 p.m. deadline for bids came and went without any new companies offering a bid in the auction, which is set to take place Tuesday, WSJ said.

"Still, Borders is likely to entertain offers right up until the scheduled auction in the hopes a white knight will emerge to save the chain," the report indicated.

A Borders spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

A bankruptcy judge on Thursday officially approved a team of liquidators as the leading bidder in the auction. If they win the auction, Borders' 399 remaining stores would be closed quickly — unless some stores are sold off individually — and some 11,000 people would lose their jobs.

A Phoenix-based private equity firm called Najafi Companies had tentatively agreed to buy Borders, but that deal fell apart after publishers and landlords objected.

Borders was holding out hope that Najafi would decide to bid in the auction anyway, but the WSJ reported tonight that the company has decided against it.

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



Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

Not establishing an online presence until late in the game really did Borders in.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:54 p.m.

I feel sorry for all of the talented employees who tried hard to make this a going concern. It is a shame that Borders lacked true visionary leadership. These same managers would fit in well with our city council and school board.

tom swift jr.

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

I suspect that the downfall can be traced directly back to the banning of dogs in the store...

tom swift jr.

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

I'm thinking that spot on Liberty would be perfect for a large retailer, like, maybe Jacobson's.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Could be a nice location for another 'bong and thong' store. Close to the Diag. It seems that Ann Arbor citizens like places like this (bongs and thongs stores) in keeping with their chosen cultural direction and desires.

Audion Man

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

No, Kline's!


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 3:29 p.m.

Beyond all the added unemployment in Ann Arbor and around the nation, that big hole left on Liberty Street in downtown A2 will be an enormous loss for the the atmosphere and desirability of the area.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:46 p.m.

Sad, but a natural outcome given the expansion of online shopping and electronic media. This is the same story with Netflix and Blockbuster. The cost of running brick and mortar operations with many employees just can't compete with a online inventory smart business.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 11:53 a.m.

it is a shame but business is business. you do not buy anything that will not make you money. you have to throw money to make money. i guess they think it will not make money. so sad for the people and their families.

Dave Bass

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 1:02 a.m.

Spin-off/expansion just is not healthy...Period. K-Mart-Circuit goes on and on.


Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:42 a.m.

There's more to the story than just the MBAs, but since they are such big, easy, slow-moving targets, we might as well take a few shots at them... the banksters on Wall Street had platoons of the best MBAs money can buy, yet managed to group-think their way into the worst financial debacle since the Great Depression over the past decade. Perhaps that's why many think that MBA=Master of Business Annihilation.

Paul Taylor

Mon, Jul 18, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

Very sad. Had someone other than the MBAs been runn ing things, this story would be so much different. The beancounters came in with the 94 spin-off from KMart and proceeded to screw up everything, through hyperexpansion and screwing over employees with decades of experience, skills, and institutional memory. I eagerly await the book that exposes this crime of negligence. Of course, I won't be able to get it at Borders...