Starz Media Parent Bids on Barnes & Noble Bookstores

posted on 2011-05-20 15:00 EDT
Also: Borders bookstore chain seeks extension on reorganization plans

The publishing industry news site Publishers Weekly reported on Friday that Liberty Media, the parent company of Manga Entertainment owner Starz Media, has offered a bid to purchase the bookstore chain Barnes & Noble. According to the report, the bid is worth about US$1 billion, and the chain's board of directors is evaluating the proposal. Barnes & Noble itself had offered to purchase 10 stores owned by its rival bookstore chain Borders.

Meanwhile, Borders has requested an additional 120-day extension to solidify its plans to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, for which it filed in February. If accepted, the new deadline would be October 14. The request comes after a meeting held on Wednesday, in which the chain attempted to negotiate terms with publishers to acquire product for their stores. The results of this meeting have not been made public.

Borders' filing for bankruptcy came after a string of difficulties for the chain, including the departure of two of its executives and the delay of payments to publishers, followed by additional layoffs and an attempt to convince publishers to treat its debts as loans, which failed. As noted by the retail news source ICv2, Borders played a crucial role in the rise of manga sales in the United States in the first half of the last decade. Former Tokyopop CEO Stu Levy cited Borders' bankruptcy as part of the reasons for layoffs at the publisher shortly before its announcement of closure.

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