NEW YORK (Reuters) - An auction in bankruptcy court for Borders Group Inc BGPIQ.PK is scheduled to take place in Manhattan on Tuesday. A group of liquidators has been made the “stalking horse,” and sources told Reuters no other bids have been made for the company in its entirety.
Borders, once the second-largest U.S. book-seller chain, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and faces the specter of going out of business altogether.
Here are some key dates in Borders’ history:
1971: Tom and Louis Borders 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: Borders announces plans for an international superstore chain that would have 1,000 locations. At that point, it had 203 stores.
1998: Launches Borders Online.
2000: Hires Merrill Lynch & Co to review options, including a recapitalization, leveraged buyout or combination with another company.
2001: 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.
2006: Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square takes 11 percent stake in Borders, saying the shares are undervalued and could rise to $36 from $23.92. Ackman says fears about competition from online retailer Amazon.com are exaggerated.
March: Says it might put itself up for sale, but never finds a buyer. It gets $42.5 million loan from Ackman’s firm and says it would have faced imminent liquidity problems without it.
May - Larger rival Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N) puts together a team to look at a merger with Borders. Separately, Borders launches its own Web site.
2009: Says it expects only 50-60 of its Waldenbooks stores to survive in the long term. It had 564 in 2006.
March 31: Repays $42.5 million loan to Pershing Square, gets more credit and posts a profit on cost-cutting. Shares jump.
July 7: Launches e-book store, eight months after Barnes & Noble does.
December 6: Ackman offers to finance a merger with Barnes & Noble.
January 27: Says it gets conditional refinancing commitment from GE Capital and hints at a possible Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.
January 30: Says it has been delaying payments to publishers and landlords.
February 16: Files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Manhattan.
April: Conducts going-out-of-business sales for more than 200 stores.
June: Chooses Najafi Cos to be “stalking horse” bidder, a deal which later unravels. A group of liquidators becomes the stalking horse.
July 17: Deadline to submit bids in bankruptcy auction passes with no other offers besides “stalking horse” bid, according to sources.
July 19: Scheduled date for bankruptcy auction in Manhattan.
Reporting by Phil Wahba