Borders Bookshops sold to MBO team, backed by Valco Capital Partners

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Clearwater Advisor

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 International 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.

“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.”

Philip Downer, Chief Executive, Borders

“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.”

Marc Gillespie, Partner, Clearwater International