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Is Liberty Media Borders Mystery Bidder?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- After Liberty Media announced a $1 billion bid for Barnes & Noble (BKS - Get Report) last week, the news has raised speculation that it may also be interested in bankrupt Borders.

Borders, which filed Chapter 11 in February, reportedly has received interest from a third-party that may run the bookseller as a going concern, according to Reuters. Could Liberty Media be this phantom bidder?

"One could argue that there are synergies to buying both Barnes & Noble and Borders together," Janney Capital Markets analyst Tony Wible wrote in a note.

Clearly, Liberty Media is interested in the space and has a history of going after distressed assets, Wible says.

Liberty Media made an offer to purchase Barnes & Noble for $17 a share, a 20% premium over its closing price of $14.11 on Thursday. As part of the deal, Liberty Capital would receive equity ownership of about 70% of Barnes & Noble. Liberty expects its cash contribution to be around $500 million "depending on the amount of financing that can be obtained."

Barnes & Noble is reviewing the offer, which some analysts insist is too low. The company said the proposal is contingent on the participation of its chairman, Leonard Riggio, "both in terms of his continuing equity ownership and his continuing role in management."

--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Jeanine Poggi.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jpoggi.

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