Buyers interested in Borders

Just read an article in PW (Publishers Weekly) that there is at least one serious buyer interested in purchasing and reviving the Borders book chain. That’s definitely good news for all of us in the industry and for book lovers everywhere. We need diverse markets, everything from the big chains to smaller independents. A smaller, but better run Borders would have to be a plus overall.

I’m not a wiz at linking articles yet, so here’s the full piece courtesy of PW (and the Wall Street Journal)

Gores Group, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles, is in discussions to purchase more than 200 of Borders’s 405 remaining stores “in a deal that would keep the bookstore chain operating as a going concern,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “People familiar with the matter” said the stores and other assets could fetch “roughly $200 million or so” and that “other suitors, whose identities couldn’t be learned, are also in discussions with Borders.”

The company headed by Alec Gores “is known as a distressed investor, scooping up stakes in ailing companies and trying to rehabilitate them,” the Journal noted, adding that “interest in Borders has increased since Liberty Media Corp.’s recent bid for Barnes & Noble, valuing the chain at roughly $1 billion.”

A brief profile of Alec Gores in the Journal noted that he and his brother Tom appear to be intent on assembling an entertainment conglomerate. They “recently joined forces to buy Alliance Entertainment, which distributes DVDs, CDs and video games to stores such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Target.” They have also explored “buying at least three Hollywood movie studios, including Miramax,” and in 2008 the Gores “plowed about $100 million into radio programming company Westwood One.”

The Journal called the Gores brothers “a three-headed Los Angeles powerhouse. Brother Tom heads another private-equity firm, Platinum Equity. Sam Gores leads Hollywood talent agency, Paradigm. Sam has acted as a consultant for his brothers’ forays into the entertainment business.”

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