Borders ponders UK sell-off

Borders Group, the US-based bookstore company, is considering selling its international divisions – including its UK and Ireland stores – to concentrate on its domestic superstore business.

The company is exploring “strategic alternatives” that could see its overseas divisions either sold or become franchises.

Borders UK and Ireland owns 42 Borders superstores in high streets and retail parks, and 30 Books etc and Borders Express high street and airport stores.

David Roache, chief executive of Borders UK and Ireland, says: “This change will enable us to develop the business in a way that is more tailored to the UK and Irish markets. Until such time as a buyer is found, it is very much business as usual. There can be no assurance that this process will lead to a transaction and no timetable is set.” He added that in the interim the company would continue to be part of Borders Group International.

The business represents 8% of the UK bookselling market. Borders international sales make up 16% of total group sales and the UK and Ireland represents 70% of that segment.

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