Timeline: A short history of Borders Group bookstores

NEW YORK Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:04pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Borders Group Inc has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The No. 2 U.S. bookseller, which operates namesake superstores as well as the smaller Waldenbooks chain, has contended with double-digit comparable sales declines for two years.

Here are some key dates in Borders' history:

1971:

Tom and Louis Border found Borders Book Shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1992:

Kmart buys Borders, then a Michigan-based chain of 21 book superstores in the Midwest and Northeast. In 1984, KMart buys Waldenbooks.

1995:

Kmart spins off Borders-Walden Group in an IPO and changes its name to Borders Group.

1997:

Announces plans for an international superstore chain that would have 1,000 locations. At that point, it had 203 stores.

1998:

Launches Borders Online, but analysts fault it for being late to embrace e-commerce.

1999:

April: Company buys toy retailer All Wound Up, a deal that harms its liquidity. The plan foretells Borders' intention to expand its toys and games selection in late 2010 to diversify its offerings.

2000:

March: Hires Merrill Lynch & Co to review options, including a recapitalization, leveraged buyout or combination with another company.

2001:

April: Announces a deal with Amazon.com Inc to relaunch Borders' money-losing e-commerce site and feature Amazon.com's books and music offerings.

2006:

Bill Ackman's Pershing Square takes 11 percent stake in Borders, saying its shares are undervalued and could rise to $36 from $23.92. Ackman says fears of the threat from online retailer Amazon.com are "exaggerated."

2008:

March: Says it might put itself up for sale, but never finds a buyer. It also gets $42.5 million loan from Ackman's firm and says it would have faced imminent liquidity problems without it.

May: Barnes & Noble puts together a team to look at a merger with Borders. Separately, Borders launched its own web site.

2009:

April: Says it expects only 50-60 of its Waldenbooks stores to survive in the long term. It had 564 in 2006.

2010:

Jan 28: Announces cuts of 10 percent of corporate jobs.

March 31: Repays $42.5 million loan to Pershing Square, gets more credit and posts a profit on cost cuts. Shares jump.

July 7: Launches e-book store, eight months after Barnes & Noble.

December 6: Ackman offers to finance a merger with larger rival Barnes & Noble Inc..

2011

January 27: Borders says it gets conditional refinancing commitment from GE Capital and warns it may seek an "in court restructuring," meaning a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

January 30: Borders says it is delaying payment to vendors and landlords, among other creditors.

February 4: Borders gets warning from New York Stock Exchange about low share price, says it could be delisted.

February 16: Borders files for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection in Manhattan.

Sources: Reuters archives, Borders Group website

(Compiled by Phil Wahba)

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