Publishers working on lifeline for Borders UK

<p>The Publishers Association has established a publishing-wide committee under Hachette UK&#39;s deputy chief executive Peter Roche in an attempt to find a way for publishers to continue trading with the troubled bookseller Borders UK. All major publishers are believed to be on stop with the retailer, following attempts made by Borders&#39; financial adviser to find a buyer for the struggling chain.</p><p>The committee was formed this week in response to concerns that Borders could go into administration. It represents the distribution arms of the UK&#39;s biggest publishers, and all relevant clients. It is understood that the Borders&#39; management is aware of the committee, but has yet to give a response.</p><p>Roche told <em>The Bookseller</em>: &quot;The objective would be to help them through this period, if they so request. The committee will get all the publishers on side to do whatever might be needed.&quot; Roche said the publishers were &quot;in principle&quot; committed to offering this support for as long as was needed. &quot;One can&#39;t have any idea [of how long that might be]... Bertrams went on for months - we didn&#39;t think it would do, but it takes time to complete everything.&quot; He added that publishers were &quot;very keen that Borders survives&quot;, describing it as an &quot;important part of the market&quot;, staffed with &quot;very good booksellers&quot;.</p><p>Roche said the aims were similar to those behind the committee formed last year to deal with Bertrams during the fallout from Woolworth&#39;s financial collapse. &quot;With Bertrams, we froze the debt that was due to us, and traded on a cash-on-delivery basis, to ensure they could carry on while they were looking for a buyer. Effectively, we weren&#39;t suing for the money they owed us, and we were making sure they had supplies while the business continued to look for a way out of the situation they were in,&quot; Roche said.</p><p>&quot;This may not be appropriate in Borders&#39; case, and we hope they will be able to solve the problems without us, but we feel it is important to offer that assistance anyway.&quot;</p><p>Tim Hely Hutchinson, chief executive of Hachette UK, added: &quot;The larger publishers will, and have already, offered to help. Publishers were able to help Bertrams survive and trade through a very difficult time, and they have fortunately come out the other side. If there is any such possibility of doing the same thing for Borders, all publishers will be happy.&quot;</p><p>The situation has come to a head this week, with trading between the retailer and two distributors - Random House-owned TBS/GBS - stopping over an unpaid cheque, while Hachette UK-owned LBS pulled the plug &quot;as a precautionary measure&quot;. Borders was put up for sale by its owners last Tuesday, after an ad was placed in the <em>FT</em>. WHS was reported to have walked away last week.</p><p><a href=" target="_blank" title=" Telegraph</em> has now reported that administration could be just &quot;hours&quot; away.</a> </p>