Jim Milliot at Publishers weekly is reporting that the Borders book chain has hired J.P. Morgan and Merrill Lynch to help them look into a possible sale in order to get more cash to move forward with restructing.
CEO George Jones said that given the tight credit market it was becoming expensive, and at times impossible, to find new funds. To help ease that situation, Pershing Capital, the private equity firm that has a large stake in Borders and two board seats, has agreed to lend the company $42.5 million. In addition, Pershing has agreed to acquire Borders’s Australian, New Zealand, Singapore and Paperchase subsidiaries for $125 million if Borders cannot find another buyer at a better price. A deal to sell the Australian/New Zealand unit fell apart last week.
The infusion of capital from Pershing will give Borders enough money to continue to revamp its operations. Still, Jones said the completion of its turnaround may take longer than expected. “Overall, we believe that the 2009 financial targets we set back in March of last year remain attainable, yet within the current economic environment, we will be slowed in our progress and expect that we’ll reach them later than originally anticipated. Still, we believe our strategic plan remains the right path toward achieving these goals,” Jones said.
Borders has had many economic woes in recent years; any blow to its bottom line would be a blow to, certainly manga sales.