July 29, 2011, 12:15 PM

The Borders name and web assets may head for the auction block

But whether that actually takes place won't be known until September.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Lead Photo

There may still be a future for the Borders.com brand, but the outcome won’t be known until a bankruptcy judge approves a request for a September auction.

In a document filed late Thursday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Borders, No. 200 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, and the liquidation firms that currently own all of its remaining assets have asked permission to hold an auction on Sept. 20 in New York to sell off the failed retail chain’s intellectual property, which includes the Borders name and e-commerce site. The court has yet to rule on the request.

Borders and its liquidators have asked the court to hire Streambank LLC, a Boston intellectual property consulting firm, to assist in preparing for an auction of its various remaining assets, including key trademarks and URLs. Streambank was also the firm that conducted the final auction for the e-commerce assets of Circuit City in 2008.

The court papers indicated that Borders may sell off its intellectual property—including its e-commerce assets—to one party or multiple parties depending on the size of the bids. The court filing also says Borders has received several requests for bidding materials already, but released no names. It was also unclear what initial amount Borders, the court or its liquidation firms is seeking for the sale of any web-related assets.

The latest court action comes a week after Borders began liquidating its assets. On July 21 with no higher bidders stepping forward the bankruptcy court approved the sale of store-related and other assets. On July 1 Borders had entered into a preliminary agreement to be sold at an upcoming auction to Direct Brands, a portfolio company of Najafi Cos., an investment banking firm based in Phoenix, for about $215.1 million in cash and the assumption of about $220 million in debt. Direct Brands submitted a stalking horse bid, which is an initial bid on a bankrupt company’s assets from an interested buyer chosen by the bankrupt company that sets the floor for minimum acceptable bids.


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