Barnes & Noble founder Leonard Riggio to buy out company’s retail chain
New York, NY, United States (4E) – Leonard Riggio, founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble Inc., said in a Wall Street Journal report on Sunday that he is interested in buying out the company’s consumer-bookstore chain.
Riggio, who owns 30 percent of the company, also stated in a regulatory filing on Monday that he was prepared to buy all of the assets of the retail business at a price that will be negotiated with the board.
If Riggio’s plan succeeds, B&N’s 689 retail stores would reportedly become a private entity separated from the company’s Nook e-reader and tablet business and college-store chain. Riggio is looking to spin out the division that creates the Nook tablet.
Barnes & Noble did not comment on whether the decision was made by Riggio alone or had been discussed with the board or has obtained support from the board.
If the sale proceeds, the retail stores could be valued at about $1bn or three to four times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (Ebitda), according to the Journal.
The company reported in November a profit in the second quarter driven by strong performance of the Nook segment. The strong digital sales helped offset weak retail sales. Preliminary data from the company also shows that sales of the Nook unit doubled over the four-day Black Friday weekend.