Anybody Want A Bookstore Chain? (BGP, BKS)

Last month struggling book store chain Borders (BGP) announced a new plan: A series of digital kiosks so people who visited the stores could buy things from the Web (really). They don’t seem convinced this will work either. Dealbook:

Borders Group, the struggling bookstore chain, said Thursday it hired JPMorgan and Merrill Lynch to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale of all or part of the company. Shares of Borders were up more than 14 per cent in premarket trading.

In a news release, Borders also said it received a financing commitment from Pershing Square Capital, a hedge-fund firm that is a major shareholder, which it hopes will ward off “liquidity issues.” In a further effort to conserve cash, Borders said it would suspend its quarterly dividend.

The Times suggests that Barnes and Noble (BKS) would be a natural fit, antitrust concerns notwithstanding. Alas, the same problems plaguing Borders — slowing economy, ever-increasing competition from the Web — are hitting B&N, too:

Bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc on Thursday reported a lower quarterly profit as a deteriorating economy hurt sales.

The world’s largest specialty book retailer said net income in the fiscal fourth-quarter ended February 2 was $115 million, or $1.79 a diluted share, compared with $126.7 million, or $1.83 a share, a year earlier.

See Also: Borders Plans Death Of The CD

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