Borders files for administration

A view of the new Borders superstore which includes digital technology, computers and movie screens along with its traditional selection of books in Pittsburgh Township, Michigan February 13, 2008. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

LONDON (Reuters) - Bookseller Borders UK called in the administrators on Thursday, joining a string of high-street retailers that have fallen victim to the economic slump and tough competition.

Administrator MCR said it hoped to sell the company as a going concern but noted that the 1,150 employees were at risk.

The firm, which also trades as Books Etc, has faced intense competition from Internet booksellers and supermarkets.

The 45-store group has been struggling to raise enough cash to trade through the key Christmas period, according to newspaper reports.

Borders is owned by Valco Capital Partners, the private equity arm of restructuring specialist Hilco.

Hilco founding partner Paul McGowan told Reuters Hilco was the main secured creditor to Borders and was owed around 6 million pounds.

Valco purchased Borders in July from private equity firm Risk Capital. The UK company was spun off from its former U.S. parent, Borders Group, in 2007, MCR said.

The possible administration of Borders comes a month after First Quench, owner of the Threshers off-licence chain, went into administration.

Reporting by James Davey, Tom Bergin and Sinead Cruise; editing by Paul Sandle and Will Waterman