The Bookseller reports that Ottakar’s founder James Heneage has been linked with a bid for Borders‘ UK superstores, while former Hammicks chief Trevor Goul-Wheeker is believed to be eyeing its Books Etc division. Industry observers have mooted that Heneage could partner with current Borders CEO David Roche to buy out the chain’s 42 UK and Ireland stores. The pair previously worked together on a management buyout of Ottakar’s that was scuppered by a higher bid from Waterstone’s.
No venture capitalist or trade buyer has swooped since Borders US announced a “strategic review” of all its international businesses last month. One source said that the 50m pound price tag being touted was putting off pre-emptive bidders: “The price is a problemâ€”it’s not worth half of that.”