Bookshop chain 'Borders' has been placed in administration. Sky News reporting tells us:
"Borders first opened in the UK in 1997 and was originally owned by the US book giant of the same name.
But the UK and Ireland arm was sold to buyout group Risk Capital Partners - headed by Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson - in 2007.Management, led by chief executive Philip Downer and finance director Mark Little, then bought the group back with financing from Valco Capital earlier this year."
The TimesOnline reports:
"...when it was bought for £20 million by Risk Capital, the private equity firm owned by Luke Johnson. The number of stores was dramatically reduced from 79, with Risk Capital appointing RSM Bentley Jennison, the restructuring specialists, to oversee sell-offs.
When the company was bought by Valco, Philip Downer, Borders’ chief executive, spoke of his optimism in securing its long-term future. However, the book market has been struggling. Waterstone’s, the biggest chain in the UK, which is owned by HMV, saw sales fall by 3.4 per cent in the 18 weeks to August 29.Valco appointed Clearwater Corporate Finance to find a buyer for the business."
An interesting item with related comments on "The Bookseller.com" ( dated 190709) provides a range of views and opinions on the subject and contains the following quotesfrom Mr Downer:
"In the short term there will be greater cash flow as we open up a new borrowing line. Beyond that it's ensuring the range, systems and processes in store are in place in order to maximise trade this Christmas."
"It will be extremely challenging but it is for any business that is not selling the basic staples like food. But I wouldn't be talking if I didn't see an opportunity to sell more products to more people and make money. But make no mistake, this is a tough environment"
"Downer refused to answer whether he thought the retailer had received sufficient funding from Risk Capital Partners. He said: "We had an excellent relationship and achieved some extraordinary things. We extracted the business from the US and fundamentally restructured it. It was a very successful period.""
There is also an interesting item in the Independent which catalogues what the author descirbes as the 'Tale of woe' at the end of the article.