16 February 2011

Borders Bankruptcy 2011

Borders Group filed for bankruptcy protection this morning, marking a sad milestone for the book retailer and a blow to employees, stock holders, book publishers… and the already battered commercial property business.

At least two big shopping mall owners — Simon Group and General Growth Properties, which itself just emerged from bankruptcy protection –- have requested to appear in the Borders bankruptcy case, in order to represent their interests. (A reader points out that another real estate company, Agree Realty, has said about 27% of its annualized base rent comes from Borders Group.)

General Growth also disclosed in a court filing that it is a landlord for three dozen Borders-owned stores, or more than 5% of the company’s total store count. Borders said it plans to close about 30% of its store network, though it hasn’t yet disclosed which ones.

The bankruptcy process allows companies to break their onerous store leases, which have been a particular problem for Borders. The company’s lengthy leases has hamstrung the unprofitable book retailer. But while breaking leases is great for Borders, the moves also will be a big headache for the landlords.

General Growth disclosed a list of stores for which Borders is a tenant. Here it is.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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