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Now You See it, Now You Don't--Borders Deal Falls Through

As Borders announced its liquidation early last week, reports surfaced that Books-a-Million, a rival bricks-and-mortar book seller, wanted to purchase up to 35 of its remaining stores.

The deal would have helped to cut down the amount of space Borders is about to dump on the market and saved some of its landlords the headache of searching for an alternate tenant.

Unfortunately, the deal is now off, according to a report in The Detroit News.

The two booksellers apparently couldn't come to an agreement before Borders' going-out-of-business sale began last week.

"We worked exhaustively in an effort to acquire these stores and reach agreements with all of the parties whose consent was necessary," Books-A-Million CEO Clyde B. Anderson said in a statement late Monday. "Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful."

The nixed sale won't necessarily stop Books-a-Million from leasing former Borders locations directly from their landlords. For example, Cafaro Company, an Ohio-based privately held mall owner, has just signed a deal with Books-a-Million to go into eight of its malls independelty of the Books-a-Million/Borders negotiations, according to a release the firm sent out this week.

The stores range from 2,300 to 20,000 square feet and include locations in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan and Iowa. Books-a-Million plans to open at Cafaro's properties in the fall.

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