30 Aug 2010

Book group chairman steps down

12:20 pm on 30 August 2010

The chairman of Red Group Retail, the Australian owner of Whitcoulls and Borders bookstores in New Zealand, has stepped down, after the company secured a waiver after breaching its banking covenants earlier this month.

Red Group, which is owned by Pacific Equity Partners of Melbourne, says it is exploring a range of funding options to bolster its balance sheet in the longer term.

The company has not given any explanation for the departure of Rod Walker. He was chairman for four years.

Last month, Red Group forecast earnings of about $25 million for the year ending 28 August, but it had $9 million in interest payments due, which would have put it in breach of two of its three banking covenants.