The Bookseller reports that Risk Capital Partners,the private equity firm owned by Channel 4 chairman Luke Johnson (left), is understood to be backing David Roche‘s management buyout of Borders‘ UK and Ireland business. While the deal has not been finalized, a decision on the chain’s future is believed to be imminent.
Johnson is understood to be keen to retain Borders’ identity and its commitment to promoting independent publishers. Despite a difficult market for high street booksellers, Risk Capital Partners is believed to be confident that it can cut costs at Borders and turn the business around. While some closures of underperforming stores are expected if the deal goes through, it is believed that the private equity firm would retain most of Borders’ 70 branches. One retail analyst suggested Johnson was a “viable” buyer for the business. “He runs a very well set up private equity firm,” he said. “He’s got great contacts in the City and a very good track record.”