Barnes & Noble for sale after plunge into red
Wednesday 04 August 2010
Barnes & Noble, the world's largest bookshop chain, put itself up for sale last night, in the latest sign of turmoil in the industry.
The company announced its decision to "evaluate strategic alternatives" after it plunged into the red and its shares collapsed to levels not seen since the mid-Nineties. Saddled with a large network of high-street stores, the company has struggled as customers have preferred to buy books online – and increasingly now in digital format.
Leonard Riggio, the founder, who is still chairman, said he supported the board decision to bring in Lazard, the investment bank, to consider the future, and would himself explore making a buy-out bid, if he can find financing. The Riggio family is the company's largest shareholder.
James McQuivey, analyst at the consulting firm Forrester, said the potential bid by Mr Riggio could signal that hard decisions needed to be made that would be more easily reached as a private company. "They might feel they want to buy the company back now and take it public later and reap the windfall," he said. "But there aren't a lot of investors who will be that certain about the probable outcome of that bet."
In-store sales were down 3 per cent in its most recent quarterly results. More readers have turned to digital books on devices like Amazon's Kindle and the Apple iPad, which are proving more popular than Barnes & Noble's own Nook electronic reader.
Shares soared 27 per cent in after-hours trading following the company's statement. The billionaire investor Ron Burkle has also shown interest in the company, boosting his stake in recent months and suing the bookseller for preventing him from buying a controlling interest.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...