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Borders gives up the fight: UPDATED

The embattled U.S. book chain Borders has run out of options in its attempts to find a buyer and will begin the process of liquidating, according to the Detroit Free Press. The liquidation plan, which was presented to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court last Thursday, is the only option left to the big-box bookstore chain after it failed to meet Sunday’s deadline for finding a buyer.

From the Free Press:

Following the best efforts of all parties, we are saddened by this development, said Borders Group President Mike Edwards, in a statement. We were all working hard towards a different outcome, but the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time including the rapidly changing book industry, eReader revolution and turbulent economy have brought us to where we are now.

An article on Paid Content.org states that Borders is closing all of its 399 remaining stores and laying off close to 11,000 employees. Paid Content includes Borders’ official statement, which reads in part:

Subject to the Court’s approval, under the proposal, liquidation is expected to commence for some stores and facilities as soon as Friday, July 22, with a phased rollout of the program which is expected to conclude by the end of September. Borders intends to liquidate under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code and, as a result, Borders expects to be able to pay vendors in the ordinary course for all expenses incurred during the bankruptcy cases.

UPDATE: In the face of Borders’ liquidation announcement, the Canadian e-book company Kobo has voiced objections to the procedure, according to Bloomberg. Creditors filed official objections in bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Monday.

From Bloomberg:

The debtors are proposing a hurried and confusing sale process that leaves parties such as Kobo uninformed as to precisely what will be sold or how the debtors intend to proceed, lawyers for Kobo wrote.

Kobo, a Toronto-based maker of electronic books, said it should have the right of first refusal for any transfer of Borders’ 11 percent stake in its equity, and Borders shouldn’t be allowed to sell information that Kobo has licensed to Borders.