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Failed book retailer had only $1m in the bank as administration loomed.

This is despite owing staff $7.8m in wages and other entitlements, a creditors meeting for Borders Australian business heard this morning.

Mr Steve Sherman of Ferrier Hodgson, who is acting as the administrator said REDgroup, owner of Borders and Angus & Robertson, had total cash of $6.4 million and debt of at least $118 million. Its creditors are owed a bill to the tune of $44 million. 

Last month Borders, which has struggled with the long-term shift towards digital sales against rivals like Amazon, admitted it was on the brink of bankrupcy after failing to reach a deal with bankers over liabilities of more than $1bn. 

Several stores are to be closed completely and staff will be informed in the next 72 hours which ones will be affected. 

It is unlikely to be handed back to its private equity owners under a deed of administration, said Mr Sherman.  

Founded in 1971 by two Michigan brothers, Tom and Louis Borders, the group is said to have missed payments to landlords and publishers.

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