Johnson denies Borders sell-off

<p>Luke Johnson, chairman of Borders UK, has denied that the retailer is up for sale, following the appointment of financial adviser Clearwater Corporate Finance last week. Borders said that Clearwater was to look for &quot;funding opportunities&quot;, rather than an outright sale, but the appointment of an external adviser has led to suggestions that Johnson could be looking to offload the business. </p><p>One publishing managing director, who declined to be named, said: &quot;While they are saying they&#39;re looking to expand, I&#39;m afraid that it&#39;s a sale that I believe.&quot; </p><p>However, when asked whether he was looking to dispose of the bookshop chain he bought in September 2007, Johnson replied: &quot;No&quot;. And added: &quot;I don&#39;t really think I have anything to add beyond [last week&#39;s] statement.&quot; When questioned about publisher speculation, Johnson hit back: &quot;They [the publishers] are not necessarily in a position to comment because they don&#39;t know the business&quot;. He declined to comment further.</p><p>In an email to staff and publishers, Borders UK c.e.o. Philip Downer said: &quot;The directors of Borders UK have great confidence in the potential we have for the future, as we start to see the benefits of new systems and new product lines, allied to a lower cost base and reliable cash management. Trading is demanding for all retailers at present . . . it has been tougher for the book trade than any of us would have anticipated a year ago.&quot;</p><p>Responding to the email, one sales director said: &quot;We have a great relationship with Borders but in terms of pecking order, I have to spend money with those retailers who can sell the biggest volume and put our books into a bestseller position. That isn&#39;t Borders.&quot; But another said: &quot;They are an important client of ours and we hope to see them through these times.&quot;</p>