ANN ARBOR, Michigan( TheStreet) -- Borders, the bankrupt bookseller, reached an agreement to sell itself to Direct Brands, a portfolio company of private investment firm Najafi Cos., for $215.1 million.

Borders, in a press statement, said it plans to seek court approval for the agreement, which will serve as a "stalking horse" bid for the company.

"Borders believes a sale provides the best path forward to reposition the business for a successful future and to maximize value for the company's stakeholders, the company said.

Direct Brands also will assume $220 million in debt. Najafi bought Direct Brands, the owner of Book-of-the-Month Club, Doubleday Book Clubs and Columbia House, in 2008.

Borders said the tentative purchase agreement will occur before a court hearing on July 21.

Najafi's firm beat out private-equity investor, Alec Gores, for the "stalking horse" bid for Borders, according to reports.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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