ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 1 (UPI) -- Bookstore chain Borders said it had a purchase agreement with Direct Brands, which would put in the starting bankruptcy auction bid for the U.S. retailer.
The Detroit Free Press reported Friday Direct Brands, owned by equity firm Najafi Companies, was preparing a bid of $215 million and had agreed to take on $220 million in liabilities.
Direct Brands operates Book-of-the-Month Club, Doubleday Book Clubs and Columbia House.
Jim McTevia, a company turnaround export with McTevia & Associates, said a pared down Borders could still be "a viable operating company." However, a new business would not be "anywhere what it is today," he said.
The new owner would "cherry-pick" Borders locations, he said, keeping only a select group.
Any deal would have to be approved by the bankruptcy court in Manhattan.
Borders Group President Mike Edwards said, "We are pleased to take another important step forward as we position Borders for a vibrant future and sustainable earnings growth."