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Borders Sold To Investment Firm

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(Undated-WWJ) Ann Arbor-based bookseller Borders Group, reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since February, has agreed to be purchased by Phoenix-based Najafi Cos.

The reported sale price is 215 million dollars, with Najafi assuming another 220 million dollars in debt.

Najafi owns the Book-of-the-Month Club, Doubleday Book Clubs and Columbia House.

The tentative agreement is known as a “stalking horse” bid, meaning a higher bid is possible at auction.  A federal bankruptcy judge has set a hearing date of July 21. Borders filed a motion to liquidate if the court does not approve an auction.

Borders, headquartered in Ann Arbor, began as a single store in 1971 and has grown to become the country’s second-largest brick-and-mortar bookseller after Barnes and Noble.

Borders has closed hundreds of stores since declaring bankruptcy and now operates about 400 outlets.

(Copyright 2011, WWJ Newsradio 950. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press Contributed To This Story.)

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