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BordersĀ® Expands Partnership with Kobo to Offer New Cutting Edge eReading Technology; Now Taking Pre-Orders for New Kobo eReader Touch Edition on Borders.com

Customers can see and experience the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition at Borders Columbus Circle in New York City, on Tuesday, May 24

Borders to launch new Kobo-branded eBook store and social eReading experience beginning June 1

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 23, 2011 — Borders® today announced an expanded U.S. partnership with Kobo, giving Borders customers access to new state-of-the-art free eReading apps and eReading technology; access to over 2.3 million books, newspapers and magazines; and a unique, industry-first social reading experience, positioning Borders as a strong competitor in the digital space.

Under the arrangement, Borders will also share in the profits of all Kobo e-content sales on devices sold at all retailers in the U.S., enabling the company to capture a larger share of the eBook market without investing additional significant capital in its digital initiative.

The company also announced today it is taking pre-orders on Borders.com for the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition.

Innovative Features in eReading Platform

Boasting a revolutionary new touch screen experience with new Infrared Touch Technology, and equipped with the newest E Ink Screen, the Kobo eReader Touch Edition is easy on the eyes, even in bright sunlight, and with the Real Touch ™ page turning — the experience is just like reading a real book. Created for readers by readers, the beautiful new design provides the ultimate in reading comfort and is the most portable eReader — thin and light, it travels easily anywhere. Notably, the Kobo eReader Touch also features the industry’s first social eReading platform called “Reading Life,” enabling readers to gain insight into their reading habits with Reading Life Stats, which tracks the minutes per reading session, the number of pages they’ve turned, plus provides an overview of books completed in their library. Readers earn fun and exciting awards for their reading activies — and connect and share those awards with their friends and family on Facebook. In the coming weeks, customers will be able to share quotes and selections from the books they are reading with friends on Facebook and Twitter, so they can create their own virtual book clubs.

Available for pre-order starting today at Borders.com for $129.99, the new eReader will start shipping, and will be available, in Borders and Waldenbooks stores by July.

Kobo Preview at Borders Columbus Circle Tomorrow, May 24
To celebrate the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition coming to Borders, the company will host a special preview and demonstration for customers tomorrow, Tuesday, May 24 from noon until 2 p.m. exclusively at the Columbus Circle location in New York City. During the two-hour event, customers who pre-order the Kobo eReader Touch Edition will receive free priority shipping on their order. Guests can also purchase the Kobo Wireless eReader for $79.99 (regularly $99.99) and receive a $10 Borders gift card with their Wireless device purchase. In addition, one lucky customer will win a Kobo Wireless eReader during the demonstration event. 

Expanded Benefits of Borders-Kobo Partnership
Under the expanded Borders-Kobo agreement, beginning June 1, both the Borders eBook store and Borders eReading app will be branded Kobo, providing Borders customers with more e-content selections than ever before, including newly available access to newspapers and magazines. Customers can download the content via Borders.com, Kobo.com and the Kobo apps, which will be regularly updated and enhanced to provide a superb eReading and content purchasing experience.

With the Kobo apps, customers can: 

  • Access more than 2.3 million books, newspapers and magazines available on Borders.com and Kobo.com;
  • Enjoy Reading Life, including earning awards and sharing quotes and selections from the books they are reading with friends on Facebook and Twitter;
  • Gift eBooks to others — in time for Father’s Day;
  • Easy library access — Borders and Kobo eBooks will be safely stored in the customer’s library.

In addition to the Kobo eReader Touch Edition and Kobo Wireless eReader, free Kobo eReading apps are available for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android smartphones and tablets, Blackberry® smartphones and the Blackberry® PlayBooks as well as PC and Mac computers. Beginning June 1, customers with the Borders app will be able to easily move their Borders eBooks to their new Kobo eBook library.

“We’re excited that our customers can now enjoy the best eReading experience available today through eReading devices with state-of-the-art technology, apps that offer a first-to-market social reading experience and a knowledgeable customer service support team at Kobo available to answer their questions on devices and eBooks,” said Borders CEO Mike Edwards. 

“Our expanded partnership with Kobo is a seminal part of our overall digital strategy, which we believe positions Borders to compete effectively in the eReading market without a significant investment on the part of Borders. In turn, Kobo will be able to leverage our incredibly robust customer database, with more than 41 million Borders Rewards loyalty program sign-ups, as well as our Borders and Waldenbooks stores that will prominently feature Kobo devices,” continued Edwards.

“Our expanded relationship with Borders will offer new eReading experiences for the growing American eReading community by bringing our third-generation eReader and massive Kobo content library to Borders customers,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo, Inc. “Borders customers are loyal and passionate about reading, and we’re excited to deliver our new eReader Touch Edition with a sleek, thin and elegant package that also offers the comfort and feel of a real book, but better — both in-store and online to Borders’ customers.”

About Borders Group, Inc.
Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich., through its subsidiaries, Borders Group, Inc. is a specialty retailer of books as well as other educational and entertainment items. Online shopping is offered through borders.com. Find author interviews and vibrant discussions of the products we and our customers are passionate about online at facebook.com/borders, twitter.com/borders and youtube.com/bordersmedia. For more information about the company, visit borders.com/media.

Safe Harbor Statement
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. One can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "expect," "believe," "planning," "possibility," "opportunity," "goal," "will," "may," "intend," "anticipates," "working toward" and other words of similar meaning. One can also identify them by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and plans to differ materially from those included in the company's forward-looking statements.

These risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to (i) the ability of the company to continue as a going concern, (ii) the company's ability to obtain Bankruptcy Court approval with respect to motions in the chapter 11 cases, (iii) the ability of the company and its subsidiaries to prosecute, develop and consummate one or more plans of reorganization with respect to the chapter 11 cases, (iv) the effects of the company's bankruptcy filing on the company and the interests of various creditors, equity holders and other constituents, (v) Bankruptcy Court rulings in the chapter 11 cases and the outcome of the cases in general, (vi) the length of time the company will operate under the chapter 11 cases, (vii)risks associated with third party motions in the chapter 11 cases, which may interfere with the company's ability to develop and consummate one or more plans of reorganization once such plans are developed, (viii) the potential adverse effects of the chapter11proceedings on the company's liquidity or results of operations, (ix) the ability to execute the company's business and restructuring plan, (x) increased legal costs related to the company's bankruptcy filing and other litigation, (xi) the company's ability to maintain contracts that are critical to its operation, to obtain and maintain normal terms with its vendors, landlords and service providers and to retain key executives, managers and employees.

In the event that the risks disclosed in the company's public filings and those discussed above cause results to differ materially from those expressed in the company's forward-looking statements, the company's business, financial condition, results of operations or liquidity, and the interests of creditors, equity holders and other constituents, could be materially adversely affected.

About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service with more than 2.3 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers – one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world. Kobo believes consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device and has attracted millions of readers from over 100 countries across the globe. Kobo has top ranked eReading applications for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows and MacOS, and is the eReading application of choice for leading tablets. The Kobo eReader is also available at leading retailers including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy, Borders, WHSmith, Angus & Robertson's and Whitcoull's. Kobo's innovative Reading Life is an industry-first comprehensive social eReading experience – Kobo users can earn awards simply for time spent reading and encouraging others to read.  Kobo is backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music Inc, Cheung Kong Holdings, Borders Group, Inc., and institutional investors. For more information, please visit www. Kobo.com.

Contact:  
Mary Davis
(734) 477-1374
mdavis4@bordersgroupinc.com

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