Borders on the brink

Borders has filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator, the clearest sign yet the book retailer is on the brink of collapse.


According to court documents, Borders has asked for accountancy firm BDO to be approved as administrators.

Borders, which has stopped taking orders on its website while it is in discussions with potential buyers for its 45 UK stores, has been reportedly struggling to find sufficient funds to continue to operate through the busy festive period.

Rival book seller WH Smith reportedly walked away from a rescue deal to buy 36 of Borders’ 45 UK stores last Friday (20 November) and it is was thought to be holding talks with other potential buyers including HMV, which owns rival bookseller Waterstone’s about a possible full or partial sale.

In addition, it has also emerged that talks between Borders and its digital agency Tangent about taking over the retailer’s online arm are thought to have collapsed because of the uncertainty over the future of the book sellers’ UK business.

Borders had been looking to offload the online arm of its business to focus on its core store offering.

The retailer had held talks with Tangent about the digital agency taking over the business and running it in-house.

The retailer was the subject of a buyout by its management team in July backed by Valco Capital Partners, the private equity arm of restructuring firm, Hilco.

Borders UK chief executive Philip Downer, in a statement at the time of the deal, said that it would allow the business to “develop our innovative approach to bookselling”.

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