This morning's Creditors Committee conference call with Borders should end speculation as to the bidder for 225 bricks-and-mortar stores in the troubled chain. Barnes & Noble, as reported in the Wall Street Journal over the weekend, put in a bid for 10 stores along with Borders online and customer information. Up until this point, Borders has refused to tell publishers the name of the other bidder who made an offer for the stores just before the May 6 deadline.
Frustrated publishers have refused to give normal trade terms to Borders, despite CEO Mike Edwards's best efforts to woo them. Just as important in today's call will be Borders's April results and the figures from the store closing sales, which have not been broken out previously. Three months into Borders's bankruptcy, there is growing concern among publishers that Borders will run out of money before it can emerge from Chapter 11. In addition to liquidity concerns, publishers are troubled by the fact that the retailer has still not released its reorganization plan, which could come in the next few weeks. If Borders' April results are as bad as March, publishers' support for the company could all but collapse.