Books-A-Million looks to expand with help from Borders liquidation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Books-A-Million announced the company has submitted a bid in the Borders Inc. bankruptcy proceedings to purchase, among other things, the inventory, fixtures, equipment, and leasehold interests for 30 Borders locations. Under the proposed bid, Books-A-Million will assume the leases for these locations and continue to operate these stores.

Borders Group on Thursday won court approval to liquidate its remaining 399 stores.

"This is a bittersweet day," said U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn before a packed courtroom. "There are a lot of sad people around the country, a lot of sad people in the corporate headquarters. But there has been a late-breaking development."

Borders had alluded to an interested buyer earlier, and in court on Thursday it identified the possible suitor as Books-a-Million in court. 

The judge told Borders to get the offer from Books-a-Million in writing. A scheduled hearing was put on hold so the company could have time to document terms of the last-minute offer.

A liquidation group led by Hilco Merchant Resources and Gordon Brothers Retail Partners LLC, Borders will start going-out-of-business sales today at nearly all the chain’s stores.

Borders will keep the rights to its brand name and leases and hold separate auction processes for those assets. Gordon Brothers’ DJM Realty will market the leases.