March 14 – March 20, 2008 Edition

Whitcoulls Cancels
Plans to Buy
Borders Books

ANN ARBOR, MICH/3/12/2008–A&R Whitcoulls has ended plans to buy bookseller Borders Group, Inc. Talks about strategic alternatives for Borders’ Australian and New Zealand businesses were ended Wednesday, March 12. With the announcement that negoitations had ended came an uncertain future for five New Zealand stores and 23 Australian stores.

Borders, second largest U.S. bookseller behind Barnes & Noble Inc, announced in March a year ago that it was selling most of its overseas stores to focus on its U.S. operations.

The company said it will continue to look into its options for the businesses. Shares of Borders Group fell 5 cents to $8.37 in afternoon trading March 12.

Paper Plus, which made an offer a year ago, may be back in the running to make a bid. Chief Executive Rob Smith said he has not ruled out resumption of talks, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Australian book chain Dymocks has also expressed an interest.