Borders has retained bankruptcy (and restructuring) counsel Kasowitz Benson, Torres, & Friedman to advise the company as it attempts to restructure its debt, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company is trying to stay out of bankruptcy court, according to the report.
It would not be unusual for a company to hire bankruptcy counsel even if it hopes not to file, so that it can conduct its business in such a way so that if it does have to file, it has taken the proper steps. Bankruptcy counsel can also advise the company on how to use the threat of bankruptcy to extract concessions from its creditors.
Some Borders layoff news also came out last week. The company will close its LaVergne, Tennessee distribution center (leaving two) in July, which will eliminate over 300 jobs, according to WKRN. The company shut down the customer care center at the LaVergne facility, eliminating 93 jobs, in December (see “Borders Closing Customer Care Center”).
Borders also laid off 15 managerial employees last Thursday, according to the New York Times.
And news of store closings is starting to dribble out, with two that came to light last week in local media: Brookwood Place, Atlanta (from the Atlanta Business Chronicle) and Carousel Center Mall in Syracuse, New York (in the Post-Standard).
Since Borders began to delay payments to its creditors last week, it has been struggling to cut new deals with its suppliers and keep product coming in, but things are not going well to date (see “Diamond Book Puts Borders on Hold”).