Potential buyers for troubled bookshop

A ‘HANDFUL’ of take-over bids have been received for a troubled bookshop chain.

British Bookshops & Stationers, which has a store in Terminus Road, Eastbourne, went into administration earlier this month but administrators Zolfo Cooper said it received some ‘encouraging offers’ before deadline elapsed last week.

Michael Chowen, who launched the brand in 1971 which is also known as Sussex Stationers, said he would not be making a bid for the firm.

Three-hundred jobs are at risk across the 51 bookshops in the south, with at least 40 people being made redundant at its Brighton headquarters.

Simon Appell, partner at Administrator Zolfo Cooper, said, “The period for potential buyers to register their interest with us has closed.

“It would be highly premature to discuss any possible store closures at this point in the process.

“However we can confirm we’ve a handful of encouraging offers for the business and will review these. We’ll continue to talk to interested parties with a view to a potential sale.”

Closing down sales have been taking place across Sussex but Mr Appell said, “If there was no value in the business it would have closed already.

“This process is not about ending the business. It is about realising existing stock to make the business as attractive as possible to interested parties. Given the interest in the company and the fact that it is trading well one would hope to get a good sale.”