(Updates with date of hearing in second paragraph)
June 10 (Bloomberg) -- Borders Group Inc., the bankrupt bookstore chain, won more time from landlords of six stores to decide whether to cancel leases and will move ahead with plans to close 45 others.
Since yesterday’s announcement of its original plan to close 51 stores, Borders won concessions from landlords at Logan International Airport in Boston, Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus and four other locations, it said today in papers filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.
The 51-store list “was a preliminary list and subject to change,” Borders said. It will ask permission to find a liquidator to sell books and fixtures at the 45 stores while continuing to negotiate for more extensions, it said.
The company said yesterday that closing the stores, including those at New York’s JFK International Airport and Penn Station, would result in a “significant loss of jobs” and might not give the best returns to creditors. Meanwhile, its bankruptcy loan requires it to prepare for closing all 51 stores under certain deadlines or risk a default.
Borders said closing the stores means it won’t be able to sell them. Najafi Cos., a private-equity firm, is considering buying many Borders stores, a person familiar with the matter said June 8. Gores Group LLC, a Los Angeles-based private-equity firm, is bidding for at least half of Borders’s stores, another person familiar with the matter said June 1.
40 Years Old
Borders was founded 40 years ago as a single used-book store. The company, the second-largest book chain after Barnes & Noble Inc., had 642 stores in February when it filed for court protection. It closed 237 of them, leaving 405 still operating.
When Borders filed for bankruptcy, it borrowed $505 million from lenders led by General Electric Co.’s GE Capital unit, saying it needed the money to cover immediate expenses if it was to keep operating and reorganize.
The case is In re Borders Group Inc., 11-10614, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
--Editors: Andrew Dunn, Charles Carter
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