You can be forgiven for finding a measure of comedy in each hurry and up wait stage of Borders’ bankruptcy proceedings. Just a few weeks ago Borders was lamenting that their inability to negotiate deadline extensions from landlords was going to force the early closure of some of their “profitable” stores.
Now we’ve gone full circle, with multiple landlords complaining about Borders’ rush to finalize an auction of the company, starting with the stalking horse bid from Najafi, or liquidate almost as quickly. The new slow of motions was not unexpected–yesterday was the stipulated deadline for landlords to object, and since, true to form, the details supplied on the proposed bid were scant, object they did. As one petitioner wrote, “since landlords’ deadline to object to the Stalking Horse Bidder is July 11, landlords must object since the debtors have not yet satisfied the requirement of adequate assurance of future performance.” The landlords are also concerned that Najafi’s bid leaves all options open as to whether or not they accept or reject any particular lease, and by the time a decision is made, the landlords’ right to object will have passed.
Judge Glenn will hold a hearing Thursday morning on Borders’ two plans and the landlords’ objections. An auction is currently scheduled for next Tuesday–assuming someone else joins the bidding by Sunday. Reuters notes that Glenn already “questioned the schedule at a June hearing, saying it was possible the bidding procedures would not be finalized in time to accommodate objection deadlines.”