Borders U.K. will close its doors for the last time on Tuesday (Dec. 22), its administrator has confirmed, unless a buyer emerges.

The widely expected decision was relayed to managers in a Dec. 15 conference call.

Administrator MCR said it was at "advanced stages" of negotiations with a number of parties about purchasing certain stores or assets. But it added that unless a business took Borders over as a going concern, "regrettably all stores will formally cease trading the evening of the Dec. 22, 2009".

The final day of employment for the 1,150 Borders U.K. staff will be Christmas Eve.

Phil Duffy, partner at MCR, said: "Staff consultation will continue throughout this week and a further update will be given for each store at the end of the week. We have reassured staff that they will be paid for all of their work during the administration."

A document leaked to the Bookseller suggested that a buyer had been found for 23 "store assets" of the chain, though the document stated that the "balance [was] still to be decided."