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Borders bookstores set to close doors in liquidation deal

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Consider this a great loss for us readers, folks…and to a large extent, the talented writers of the world. According to Reuters:

Borders Group Inc., the second-largest U.S. bookstore chain, has canceled an upcoming bankruptcy auction and will finally close its doors to national consumers. The company said in a statement Monday that it was unable to find a significant buyer willing to keep the company in operation, and will sell itself to a group of liquidators led by Hilco Merchant Resources.

Borders' approximate 400 remaining stores will close; as a result, nearly 11,000 jobs will be lost according to the company.
"We are saddened by this development," Borders President Mike Edwards said in Monday’s statement. "We were all working hard toward a different outcome, but for the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time."

Unfortunately for the company itself, Borders could not overcome competition from larger rival Barnes & Noble Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., which began to dominate book retail when the industry shifted largely online. Borders, which filed for Chapter 11 in February, also never caught up to its rivals' e-reader sales, namely Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook.

Borders had hoped to sell itself to buyout firm Najafi Cos, which owns the Book-of-the-Month Club. While Najafi was willing to pay $435 million for the assets, the deal fell apart last week after creditors objected to terms that would have allowed Najafi to liquidate after the sale.

Earlier Monday, Reuters reported that Books-A-Million Inc , the nation's third-largest bookstore chain, was in talks to acquire a small number of Borders stores, citing sources close to Borders' bankruptcy. Representatives for Borders did not address the report when contacted by Reuters, and the company's statement did not say whether formal talks had taken place.

The Hilco group will begin liquidations as early as Friday, with the process to conclude in September, Borders said. The bookseller will seek bankruptcy court approval of the closing procedures at a hearing Thursday in Manhattan.
Andrew Glenn, an attorney for Borders, told Reuters last week the company expected a liquidation sale to bring in $250 million to $284 million.

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