Jan 4 (Reuters) - Borders Group Inc BGP.N is trying to avoid a cash shortfall in coming weeks that could make it hard to pay its debt. It is meeting with key publishers in New York to work out new payment arrangements. [ID:nN04216865]
The No. 2 U.S. bookseller, which operates 506 namesake superstores as well as the smaller Waldenbooks chain, has contended with double-digit comparable sales declines for two years and is struggling to find a place for itself as people buy more digital .
Here are some key dates in Borders’ history:
Tom and Louis Border found Borders Book Shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Kmart buys Borders, then a Michigan-based chain of 21 book superstores in the Midwest and Northeast. In 1984, KMart buys Waldenbooks.
Kmart spins off Borders-Walden Group in an IPO and changes its name to Borders Group.
Announces plans for an international superstore chain that would have 1,000 locations. At that point, it had 203 stores.
Shares hit all time high of $41.75.
Launches Borders Online, but analysts fault it for being late to embrace e-commerce.
April: CEO Philip Pfeffer, former president of Random House, quits after five months on the job. 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.
March: Hires Merrill Lynch & Co to review options, including a recapitalization, leveraged buyout or combination with another company.
April: Announces a deal with Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) to relaunch Borders’ money-losing e-commerce site and feature Amazon.com’s books and music offerings.
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.”
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.
Dec: Shares hit 35 cents, their all-time low.
January: Ron Marshall becomes CEO, ending George Jones’ 2-1/2 year stint.
February: Cuts management positions to trim costs.
April: Says it expects only 50-60 of its Waldenbooks stores to survive in the long term. It had 564 in 2006.
Jan. 26: CEO Ron Marshall quits after one year in job.
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.
June 3: Financier Bennett LeBow becomes CEO a month after investing $25 million and taking a 15.5 percent stake and becoming the largest shareholder. Interim CEO Mike Edwards becomes CEO of Borders Inc, its main bookselling business.
July 7: Launches e-book store, eight months after Barnes & Noble.
Aug 23: Borders CFO Mark Bierley resigns, two months after he also took COO job, one of many senior personnel changes in the past two years.
Dec. 6: Ackman offers to finance a merger with larger rival Barnes & Noble Inc. BKS.N.
Dec 9: Announces another double-digit quarterly same store sales decline and warns it could face a cash shortage in early 2011. It also says it is trying to sell some business lines.
Dec. 30: Says it is delaying payment to some vendors.
Sources: Reuters archives, Borders Group website (Compiled by Phil Wahba. Editing by Robert MacMillan)