The WSJ is reporting that Borders has announced an initial bidder for its bankruptcy court auction: Direct Brands, a music/DVD/book distributor owned by private-equity firm Najafi Companies, that operates the Book of the Month Club. Direct Brands bid $215.1 million for the beleaguered book chain, and in addition will assume about $220 million in liabilities.

The newspaper article is behind a paywall, but MobyLives has reprinted this quote from it concerning further store closings:

…the retailer would operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Direct Brands, the companies said. Direct Brands didn’t indicate how many Borders stores it would keep open or close. The companies said that Gordon Brothers Group and Hilco Merchant Resources LLC agreed to acquire any store locations that are ultimately not included in the sale and will close those stores in an orderly manner.

Borders has a liquidation plan in place if the deal falls through, but if it’s approved, then this means Borders might stay in the ebook business after all.


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