Kobo have posted a couple official responses to the recent Borders announcement. The first was an email sent around last night, and the second was a press release put out this afternoon. They said basically the same thing, so let me quote last night’s email:
“As one of the early investors in Kobo, Borders has a minority stake in our company and serves as part of our distribution in the U.S. along with Walmart, Best Buy, Sears and other leading retailers. As a member of the broader book publishing and retailing community, we are watching Borders’ story and will offer our support to Borders and their employees.”
For some time, Kobo and Borders have been in the process of transitioning Borders’ customers’ eBook accounts to Kobo, in order to provide such customers direct access to the most up-to-date eReading functionality, apps and devices. All Borders customers that have transitioned to Kobo shall enjoy uninterrupted access to their e-Reading accounts. We shall continue to work with Borders to transition customer accounts to Kobo.”
In the past few Borders admitted that they don’t have a buyer who would pay enough to satisfy the lenders.This put them in the position of having to announce that all 399 remaing Borders, WaldenBooks, and borders Exrpess stores will be closed. All 11 thousand employees will be fired. (I for one was hoping the senior management would be fired out of a cannon, but alas I don’t think they can afford the expense.)
I wish i could crow about being right on this point, but surely it was obviously going to happen. Borders survival was at best a long shot. They had a declining market, high debt, and not very friendly creditors.
It’s not clear yet who will end up with Border’s share in Kobo. That was an ~11%
~25% stake, and it should fetch at least some money. That’s not much compared to the bottomless pit that is Borders, though.