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Buyers needed "urgently" for Australian chains
31.05.11 | Bookseller Staff
Australian bookshop chains Borders and Angus & Robertson may have to close if buyers cannot be found, administrators have revealed.
According to a statement from Ferrier and Hodgson, the firm is "urgently seeking offers from potential buyers of all or part of the Angus & Robertson or Borders networks", the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
It was also announced that 34 head office employees of private equity-owned REDgroup Retail, which owns the chains, were made redundant yesterday (30th May), a move made ahead of final decisions about the stores, according to administrator John Melluish.
He said that offers for individual stores would be considered. "If we are unable to find a suitable buyer, the Angus & Robertson and Borders stores will be closed," he said.
No timeframe for closures has been agreed, although sources told the newspaper that it could be between one month and six weeks.
After today’s move, the group’s employees will total 883 people, according to the statement. When the company went into administration REDgroup had 2,327 staff across Australia, in 116 stores, and 90 stores with 1,150 staff in New Zealand. In April, Ferrier Hodgson announced 310 permanent and 200 casual staff cuts.
Last week, REDgroup sold off 57 New Zealand-based Whitcoulls and five Borders stores, which employed 900 staff.
REDgroup’s number of stores has dropped from 260 in Australia and New Zealand, to 61 Angus & Robertson stores and nine Borders locations, since being placed in administration.