One of the last parts of Borders: the IP. The liquidator specialists Hilco Streambank supervised the sale of the Borders name, URL, as well as other brand names that Borders own (B. Daltons,Waldenbooks, etc). The total raised was around $15 million. There’s no word yet on who bought the Borders name, just that Barnes & Noble were one of the bidders. Update: And that B&N bought most of the IP.
We won’t find out who bought what until Tuesday, and that raises an interesting question. What if someone bought the Borders website and name just to bring it back from the grave? It’s certainly possible. That’s not such a stretch because it’s happened before.
You might recall the death of Circuit City a few years back, or the collapse of CompUSA before that. Actually, you might have missed the deaths because neither gadget retailer appears to be dead. What happened was that someone bought the IP and started new companies under the old name. It made perfect sense, for obvious reasons.
And it would make even more sense for someone to buy Borders , B.Daltons, or Waldenbooks just to revive the brand with a new bookstore.
To be honest, I expect that we’ll find out on Tuesday that Barnes & Noble planned for this and bought the the trade names just t make sure no one did. They don’t need a new rival squatting on the name of the old.
On the other hand, it’s certianly pssible that B&N didn’t want to go high enough to outbid the other buyers. There were nine other bidders, including Berjaya Books, which operated Borders stores in Malaysia, and 8 other unidentified companies. Hilco reported that the group included major publishing companies and web-based retailers.
Let’s see what is announced Tuesday.
image by Nivaldo Arruda