Thursday, November 22, 2007

Whitcoulls, Paper Plus proceeding by the book in Borders' buy-out

John Drinnan writing in the New Zealand Herald today.

Paper Plus and A&R Whitcoulls are lining up to buy bookstore chain Borders in New Zealand and Australia.
A&R Whitcoulls Group, which has 60 stores in New Zealand, cleared the first hurdle yesterday with Commerce Commission clearance to buy the four Borders stores in New Zealand.
Whitcoulls is owned by Australian private equity firm Pacific Equity Partners which is waiting for Australian Consumer and Competition Commission clearance to buy the 20 Australian stores.

The Commerce Commission was satisfied that the proposed acquisition would not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in any of the relevant markets.
Meanwhile, the chief executive of Paper Plus, Rob Smith, confirmed yesterday that the firm had made an offer to Borders.
He said that due to the co-operative structure of the company, it was not required to seek regulatory clearance.

Sources familiar with the sale thought it unlikely that Borders' American owners - who are divesting around the world to concentrate on money losing US operations - would split off Australian and New Zealand assets into separate sales.

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