Borders Delays Payments — that article might reside behind a paywall. It can sometimes be subverted by typing the title into Google search and then clicking through.
In an ominous turn of events for the book business, Borders Group Inc. said Thursday it is delaying payments to some publishers, a sign that its financial troubles are worsening.
The nation’s second-largest bookstore chain by revenue, behind Barnes & Noble Inc., said the delays were part of its efforts to refinance its debt and that it had notified the publishers with which it is seeking to restructure payments.
The retailer also said “there can be no assurance” that its larger refinancing efforts will be successful. The company reiterated an earlier disclosure that without refinancing, it could violate its existing credit agreements in the first quarter of 2011 and “experience a liquidity shortfall.”
This is not good news.
Should Borders require court assistance in the months ahead, it makes me wonder what the status of existing balances on Borders Gift Cards would be. Would they be frozen? Should Borders file for bankruptcy, would those existing balances be considered “assets” and be subjected to creditor liens?
To protect yourself, I advise buying Borders Gift Cards only in the amount you will immediately use. And given how some book titles might have weird prices that don’t add up to depleting an entire Gift Card balance, expect to have a little money at risk. But the less money you can put at risk, the better.
Borders is also 20% owner of Kobo Books. This should not affect the operations of Kobo Books at all, but I don’t think Borders Gift Card balances would necessarily be transfered over to Kobo Books, nor do I expect them to be.