A separate management buy-out team is the preferred bidder for its publishing division Lomond. Both contracts are expected be completed within two to three weeks.
The Works - which has 280 stores and trades online - is hoping to acquire Bookworld's property interests, intellectual property, fixtures, fittings, goodwill and stock. The retailer proposes to integrate 27 stores into its network and retain about 206 employees. The administrator will close the remaining 11 shops over a phased period while the sale is concluded.
The Works chairman Tim Brookes said: 'We have long admired the business of David Flatman and particularly the quality of staff in stores. The combination of the two businesses will provide substantial benefits to the staff, our suppliers and above all, our customers. Following the merger, The Works will have more than 300 stores throughout the UK.'
The management team, hoping to acquire Lomond Publishing, will purchase the brand, goodwill and stock of the business and is planning to develop it as a specialist wholesale company.
Trevor Maher, who is heading the management buy-out team, said: 'Lomond Books has been a leading wholesale company in Scotland for more than 20 years and has established an excellent range of value-for-money publications. The experienced management team is delighted at the opportunity to build on the existing success and continue to expand and progress the relationship with their loyal customer base in the years to come.'
Tenon joint administrator Tom MacLennan said: 'When they conclude, the proposed offers from the preferred bidders will preserve a significant proportion of the former business. The deals will give continuity of employment for over half the staff and a very positive future for the two businesses. We would like to thank the staff for their commitment during a difficult period and for playing a key role in helping us preserve more than 200 jobs.'