Barnes & Noble Founder Leonard Riggio May Want To Buy Out The Bookstore Division

Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Leonard Riggio may want to buy out the bookstore company that he founded while still spinning out the Nook tablet division.  Riggio owns 30% of Barnes & Noble stock and he has told the board of his interest.  However the formal buyout process has not started yet according to sources with Bloomberg.

Barnes & Noble saw a decline in holiday-season retail sales, but Riggio’s plan would to still keep the 689 consumer bookstores open.  The bookstores generated $996 million in revenues for the quarter ended in October.  The collegiate unit of the company saw $773 million in sales for the quarter.  The Nook division saw $160 million in sales for the quarter, which would become separated from the company.

The board has formed a special committee to examine the proposal if it is made.  Evercore Partners would advise the panel.  It is believed that Riggio is working with boutique investment bank Peter J. Solomon.

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