ANN ARBOR, MI-Management of bookseller Borders Group has decided to potentially sell the company due to a “difficult economic environment that doesn’t show signs of improvement as we move forward in the year,” said George Jones, the company’s CEO, during a conference call. Borders would be willing to sell the company as a whole or in parts, he said.

The retailer has hired J.P. Morgan Securities and Merrill Lynch & Co. to assist it in the process of weighing various strategic alternatives. The company has also received a commitment from Pershing Square Capital Management to lend it $42.5 million for operations. Additionally the New York City-based fund, which is Borders’ largest shareholder, has also agreed to acquire the retailer’s British Paperchase chain, which has about 100 stores, as well as Borders’ 21 namesake stores in Australia, its five in New Zealand and two in Singapore.

Borders has until April 4 to find a better offer for its international operations. In fact, Jones said that one of the reasons the company is pursuing a sale is because a proposed deal to sell the Australia and New Zealand stores fell through because of financing issues.

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