The Borders Group, the bankrupt 40-year-old bookseller, said on Monday that it will move to liquidate after no last-minute savior emerged for the company.
Borders said in a press release that it will proceed with a proposal by Hilco and the Gordon Brothers Group. That liquidation plan will be presented to the federal judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy case on Thursday.
What is left to unwind are Borders’ 399 stores, about two-thirds of the locations it operated when it filed for bankruptcy in February. It currently has 10,700 employees.
Borders will begin closing down its remaining stores as soon as Friday, and the liquidation is expected to run through September.
The development came as little surprise, ever since a committee of Borders’ biggest unsecured creditors rejected the company’s plan to sell itself to the Najafi Companies for $215.1 million. The committee had argued that the bid by Najafi, which also owns the Books-of-the-Month Club, could have allowed the investment firm to liquidate borders without letting creditors benefit.
Najafi has since said publicly that it would not make another bid for the company.
Borders had set Sunday as a deadline to find alternatives to liquidation. But while it had held talks with the likes of Books-a-Million, the bookseller was unable to sign up another deal.
“Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development,” Mike Edwards, Borders’ president, said in a statement. “The headwinds we have been facing for quite some time, including the rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution, and turbulent economy, have brought us to where we are now.”
While Borders was unable to find a buyer for most of itself, some of its rivals — notably its bigger rival, Barnes & Noble — have expressed interest in purchasing a few locations.
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