Ackman Pushes Amazon-Borders Tie Up

Jun 12 2008 | 9:33am ET

Hedge fund manager William Ackman is pushing bookseller Borders Group to seek a deal with

Ackman, whose Pershing Square Capital Management is Borders’ largest shareholder, said Borders could give Amazon what it needs: a major physical retail presence.

“Amazon could buy the company for about $400 million to get those locations that would take more than $1 billion to build,” he said at a New York conference. “You have to think of it like how Apple has retail stores across the country.”

Borders, which has about 500 stores in the U.S., put itself up for sale in March. Last week, it sold its stores in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

Ackman said that Amazon retail locations make sense, as the Internet bookseller is in danger of losing its tax advantage as states push to require Web retailers to collect sales tax. Earlier this month, Amazon was forced to begin collecting New York State sales tax, though it has filed a lawsuit opposing the move.

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