Iconic Denver bookstore chain is up for sale, parent company says – 9News.com KUSA

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The company filed a court motion to postpone its Chapter 11 reorganization so it can respond to potential buyers.

DENVER — The parent company for the Tattered Cover said in a court motion this week that potential buyers have expressed an interest in purchasing the independent bookstore chain.

Bended Page, LLC, which owns and operates Tattered Cover, asked in a filing Friday with U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado to reschedule a hearing on its Chapter 11 reorganization plan, saying it “anticipates moving forward with a sale process.”

The company started the reorganization process in October, three years after being sold to an investment group. Its initial bankruptcy filing said Tattered Cover owed its creditors, numbering in the hundreds, between $1 million and $10 million.

The company, which opened in 1971, had seven locations at that time and has since closed three of them. The newest court filings said sales have improved, with February sales up 14% over 2023, and sales to date in March were up 20%.

“As the Debtor’s condition has improved, certain parties have expressed an interest in acquiring some or all of Debtor’s assets,” the court filing says.

The company’s board of directors decided last week that “positioning Tattered Cover for sale to a qualified, committed new owner is in the best long-term interests of the company, current investors, employees, suppliers and Colorado’s literary community,” Bended Page said in a news release.

A court hearing on the reorganization plan was originally set for May 28. The company requested in its newest filing that the date be postponed to June 17 at the earliest.

The bookstore chain expanded despite economic headwinds after its 2020 acquisition by Bended Page, an investment group led by David Back, Alan Frosh and Kwame Spearman of Denver. 

Spearman stepped down as CEO in April. In July, Tattered Cover hired bankruptcy attorney and former Republican congressional candidate Brad Dempsey as CEO. Dempsey said at the time that his goal was to “remedy” the company’s “immediate financial obstacles.” 

Tattered Cover was led for decades by Joyce Meskis, who gained national recognition as a fierce defender of the First Amendment and independent booksellers. 

In 2015, Meskis sold Tattered Cover to Len Vlahos and Kristen Gilligan, who received nationwide derision for their 2020 decision to declare neutrality, not support, regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. Vlahos and Gilligan sold the company to the investment group months later.

This story includes previous reporting by Kyle Clark.

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