Borders delays payments to conserve cash

By @ibtimes on

Bookseller Borders Group will conserve cash by delaying its January payments to vendors and landlords as it tries to complete a debt restructuring, the company said on Sunday.

Borders last month also said that it had delayed payments to some vendors, citing its search for financing. At the time, the disclosure pushed its shares down 11 percent.

The news comes after Borders said on Thursday that it had received a conditional commitment from GE Capital, which is one of its banks, for a $550 million senior secured facility.

But it also said on Thursday that it may have to do its debt restructuring in court, meaning it would file for bankruptcy protection.

Borders has debt maturing this spring that it needs to replace. At the same time, it has faced a cash crunch as its sales have fallen sharply amid strong competition and a rise in digital books.

In the company's latest third quarter, Borders reported a wider quarterly loss and said its borrowing capacity was cut after a third-party review that lowered the estimated value of its inventory in the case that it needed to liquidate.

By skipping the end of January payments, Borders said it would be able to maintain liquidity and stressed that while the move will impact its vendors and landlords, it is in their best long-term interest.

GE's financing commitment to Borders has several conditions including that the company's suppliers -- the book publishers -- and others agree to provide financing.

Publishing sources, however, have said that they still lack details about the financing that the company is proposing and are unable to make a decision about how to move forward with Borders.

Borders shares closed at 85 cents on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange after having traded as high as $1.06 during the regular session.

(Editing by Bernard Orr)

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