The troubled US book chain Borders has sold its Australasian operations to A&R Whitcoulls in a deal worth $110 million.
Earlier this year, A&R Whitcoulls abandoned its bid to buy 30 Borders bookstores in the region after failing to reach agreement on the makeup of the company’s ownership. The deal involved cash and shares and would have given Borders a substantial stake in A&R Whitcoulls.
A&R Whitcoulls, owned by the private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners, owns 260 stores including Angus & Robertson and Whitcoulls in New Zealand.
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Under the terms of the just-announced buy-out, the private equity-owned company will have the right to use the name Borders in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.
Borders Asia Pacific MD, John Campradt, said Whitcoulls had welcomed the Borders management team and would provide the support needed to drive profitable growth.
The deal has been approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
A&R Whitcoulls group MD, Ian Draper, said in a statement this morning that the Borders business was complementary to the company’s existing assets, offering a different format from Angus & Robertson in Australia and Whitcoulls in New Zealand.
“Borders’ experience-based model invites customers to browse books, magazines, music and DVDs, with cafes in most stores. It’s a model which has proven popular in the local market, and targets a different demographic with its premium format and wide range of products.”
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