Borders Group has raised $25 million in a sale of new stock to a company controlled by Bennett LeBow, a financier and raider with a tobacco company, among other holdings. LeBow will become the company’s largest stockholder, chairman of the board, and will also control another board seat. Pershing Square, previously the largest stockholder, will relinquish a seat on the board. The action is being taken with Pershing Square’s support (it will get a big wad of cheap warrants as part of the deal).
Borders also recently completed a debt refinancing (see “Borders Gets a Reprieve”); the combination of the equity and debt deals gives the company a stronger balance sheet with more time to deal with its operating problems.