BBS looks for fresh stock, while buyers circle stricken chain

BBS looks for fresh stock, while buyers circle stricken chain

<p>Publishers are monitoring the situation at British Bookshops &quot;carefully&quot; as the administrator Zolfo Cooper continues to look for a buyer for all or part of the BBS business. Reports have linked m.d. John Simpson with a second management buy-out of the business, just over a year since he bought it from private equity firm Endless. The Works, also owned by Endless, is also rumoured to be interested.</p><p>As reported earlier this week, the chain is continuing to trade and has been in discussions over securing additional stock. GA Europe is the preferred creditor following its purchase of a debenture from private equity firm Endless. Gavin George, managing director of GA Europe, said: &quot;Fifteen to 20 people have contacted us about stock. They are suppliers, distributors and retailers from who we will take in some more merchandise.&quot;</p><p>In addition, he said there was further stock in the group&#39;s warehouse that would also help with replenishment. GA had not run any fresh campaigns since last week but George said he wanted to make pricing &quot;marginally more aggressive&quot;.</p><p>He also indicated that discussions with a number of major publishers over retention rights of existing stock held in BBS&#39; stores were still taking place. &quot;Negotiations with suppliers are ongoing and it is a priority to resolve this,&quot; said George.</p><p>Unlike Borders, the last big retail casualty of the book trade, the Publishers Association is not setting up a committee to deal with the fallout of the company. PA chief executive Richard Mollet said: &quot;We are concerned by the announcement that British Bookshops has gone into administration, and will continue to monitor the situation carefully.&quot; </p><p>Zolfo Cooper continues to look for a buyer for all or part of the BBS business. A spokesman said: &quot;There are offers still on the table and negotiations are happening.&quot; However, GA Europe acknowledged it was a very tough climate to find buyers for such a business.<a href="http://www.retail-week.com/city/second-management-buyout-could-save-trou... target="_blank" title="http://www.retail-week.com/city/second-management-buyout-could-save-trou... Retail Week reports that Simpson was thought to be mulling a management buyout. Sources said the business was trading &ldquo;OK&rdquo; and was on an improving trend.</a></p><p>The retailer fell into administration last week, blaming poor trading in the second half of 2010 and bad weather over Christmas. Administrators Zolfo Cooper appointed restructuring specialists GA Europe to run the business through administration. </p>