Clearwater helps secure new investor for Borders

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The UK’s leading book retailer Borders has undergone a management buy-out backed by Valco Capital Partners (VCP).

The deal comes two months after Clearwater Corporate Finance was appointed by the previous investor Risk Capital Partners to help find a buyer. It also follows the recent sale of five of Borders’ store leases to New Look.

The buy-out gives control of the business to a management team led by chief executive Philip Downer and finance director, Mark Little.

Philip Downer said: “We are delighted that we have been able to secure the future for Borders in what are exceptional times for UK retailing and the global economy. The Borders management team looks forward to continuing to develop our innovative approach to bookselling, driving sustained growth and success in the future, and strengthening our unique position in the UK book market.”

Luke Johnson of Risk Capital said: “I am very pleased that the management of Borders are taking the business forward with a new backer, and I hope they achieve lasting success.”

Clearwater was appointed by Risk Capital partners in May to help find a buyer or investor.

Marc Gillespie, partner with Clearwater says: “Conditions are very tough in the retail sector and even for companies like Borders, with a management team who have taken major steps to deal with past issues, finding a buyer or an investor is a real challenge.

“There are players out there who are on the acquisition trail or have funds to invest but knowing who they are and what they are looking for is a job for a specialist, someone who is in the market on a daily basis.”

Other companies supported by VCP include Denby Pottery, the 200-year-old manufacturer of premium tableware, and Clipper Marine, a fast-growing leisure boat company.