NEW YORK (
filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday morning, with plans to close one-third of its stores.
"It has become increasingly clear that in light of the environment of curtailed customer spending, our ongoing discussions with publishers and other vendor related parties, and the company's lack of liquidity, Borders Group does not have the capital resources it needs to be a viable competitor and which are essential for it to move forward with its business strategy to reposition itself successfully for the long term," the company said in a statement Wednesday.
>>The Borders Story: Is This the Final Chapter
Borders said it has received commitments for $505 million in debtor-in-possession financing led by GE Capital to allow it to continue to operate its stores and pay employees while in bankruptcy. It plans to close about 30% of its store base over the next several weeks.
As of Dec. 25, Borders had liabilities of $1.29 billion and assets of $1.28 billion, according to documents filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
The company previously said it would receive a conditional loan commitment from GE Capital of $550 million. But Borders failed to meet those conditions, which included arranging financings with other lenders, vendors and landlords.
Borders has delayed payments to vendors, landlords and other parties in both December and January in an effort to preserve liquidity.
Borders received a delisting notice from the
New York Stock Exchange
a week ago, warning that its stock has been trading under $1 for 30 consecutive days. NYSE requires that stocks maintain an average closing price of $1.
In early December, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, whose
Pershing Square Capital Management
owns securities representing a 41.8% stake in Borders, offered to finance an acquisition by the company of rival
Barnes & Noble
. The cash-and-stock deal envisioned then would have valued Barnes & Noble common shares at $16 each, but it never seemed to get off the ground.
--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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