The common stock of the financially troubled Borders Group tumbled a further 18% in trading on Wednesday as rumors about a bankruptcy filing continued to swirl around Wall Street. Late Tuesday Bloomberg News reported that the Borders Group might file for Chapter 11 as soon as next week and Borders stock plummeted 36% in late trading. The Bloomberg story quoted 3 anonymous sources familiar with the matter who indicated that the Borders Group would be closing 150 of its 650 stores as part of its restructuring.
But a story in Wednesday’s Wall St. Journal indicated that the bankruptcy filing could be delayed until “the middle of the month” or possibly even “closer to the end of February” as Borders attempts to finalize its restructuring plans before filing. Borders is attempting to secure between $500 and $550 million in debtor-in-possession financing from General Electric Capital and Bank of America that would allow it to function smoothly after it files for Chapter 11. According to Bloomberg several private equity firms are deciding whether to provide a junior loan in the range of $125 million. Securing this additional financing is one of several conditions that Borders has to meet in order to secure the financing deal with G.E. Capital (see “Borders Delays January Payments”).
The thrust of the two stories is similar though the details of both the timing of a potential Chapter 11 filing and the number of stores that might be closed differ somewhat. The WSJ story by Mike Spector indicated that Borders’ restructuring would involve between 150 and 200 stores, but that the final number of store closings has not been determined and could eventually go higher.