Borders seeks to extend restructuring period

NEW YORK Fri May 20, 2011 6:14pm EDT

NEW YORK May 20 (Reuters) - The bookstore chain Borders Group Inc BPIQ.PK on Thursday asked a bankruptcy court judge to extend the time during which it has exclusive rights to propose a reorganization plan to its creditors.

In its filing in Bankruptcy Court in New York, Borders cited the size and complexity of the Chapter 11 proceedings and asked Judge Martin Glenn to add an additional 120 days to the exclusivity period that prevents outside bidders from proposing alternate arrangements to creditors.

Borders said the court should grant an extension, common in bankruptcy proceedings, to enable it "to formulate a bankruptcy exit strategy that will maintain (its) business as a going concern."

The judge is scheduled to consider the request on June 2, nearly four months after Borders initially filed for bankruptcy protection with liabilities of about $2.6 billion and assets of $1.6 billion.

In its latest filing, Borders said its restructuring work had so far included shuttering 237 of 642 stores and reviewing more than 1,000 contracts and leases from which it is looking to save money.

In a separate court filing on Thursday, Borders asked the court for permission to end its relationship with the Starbucks (SBUX.O) unit Seattle's Best Coffee (SBC), which had cafes in more than 400 Borders stores before the bankruptcy. Borders said the partnership resulted in "excessive" royalty payments.

The case is In re Borders Group Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 11-10614. (Reporting by Jeff Roberts and Nick Brown)

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