Borders bankruptcy could come next week: report

NEW YORK Fri Feb 11, 2011 3:28pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bookseller Borders Group Inc BGP.N could file for bankruptcy as soon as Monday or Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company is in the final stages of preparing a bankruptcy filing after failing to persuade publishers and other to go along with a plan to restructure its debt, the paper reported.

Borders could close 200 of its 674 stores, according to the Journal.

"There have been constant inquiries by reporters and stories written regarding whether Borders is considering a Chapter 11 filing. Borders is not prepared at this time to report on the course of action that it will pursue," said Mary Davis, a spokeswoman for Borders.

Borders on January 27 said that it had received a conditional refinancing commitment from its banker GE Capital for a $550 million senior secured facility. But that agreement was contingent on publishers and other creditors agreeing to provide financing to the company among other things.

Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Borders has been trying for years to cut costs by closing many Waldenbook stores and decreasing employees as it has been squeezed by competition and left out of a customer move to digital books.

Its finances have continued to suffer and it had an operating loss of $74.4 million in the third-quarter, nearly twice as large as a year earlier.

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