Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More News On Borders

I took a break from the conference to walk the quarter mile between my hotel and the White Flint Mall today where I signed stock at the Borders store. Tracy, my editor, tells me that the Borders chain has sold the most copies of BAD GIRL. That doesn't come as a big surprise because, of the various booksellers, Borders has the biggest selection of erotic romances.

There's been lots of news out on the Internet about Borders Group recently. Among the news items was the story on Friday that the company has agreed to sell its British and Irish subsidiaries to a private equity firm, Risk Capital Partners of London.

According to Reuters, Borders will be paid the equivalent of about $20 million, with the possibility of another $20 million, depending upon the stores' future performance.

Back on March 23rd, I reported on Borders' new strategy here. The company had decided to close 264 of its 564 Waldenbooks, those smaller stores mostly located in malls, and to unload the majority of its 73 superstores overseas.

This sale includes all 41 Borders superstores in the United Kingdom, one Borders superstore in Ireland, and all 28 Books etc. stores in the U.K. Risk Capital Partners set up a subsidiary company, Bookshop Acquisitions Ltd., to make the purchase. Reuters said, "Borders will receive an equity interest of about 17 percent in the new company."

TMC Net reports Borders "will incur a non-cash, after-tax loss for the sale of about $115 million (81.8 million). The loss will be recorded in the third quarter."

"Another private equity firm, Pacific Equity Partners, has bid for Borders' Australian and New Zealand stores in a deal expected to be worth more than A$100 million ($87 million), a source familiar with the situation told Reuters earlier this week."

Borders is implementing its plans. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

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