Barnes & Noble stock soars 20% as it explores a sale Barnes & Noble stock soars 20% as it explores a sale

The board mentioned Wednesday it had appointed a particular committee to overview affords. One got here from longtime Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio. He is the corporate’s largest shareholder, controlling near 20%.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) additionally disclosed that a shareholder it couldn’t establish had quickly constructed up a stake within the firm. To block a hostile takeover, Barnes & Noble’s board of administrators permitted what’s recognized as a poison capsule.

The poison capsule will kick in if the unidentified get together accumulates 20% of the stock or extra. At that time, shareholders might be allowed to purchase Barnes & Noble’s stock at a 50% low cost, diluting the worth of the shares.

The announcement comes shortly after one other investor disclosed a stake of near 7%, and mentioned he had held talks with Riggio about shopping for the corporate.

The board mentioned Riggio would vote his shares in favor of any transaction beneficial by the committee.

A possible sale is simply the newest twist within the saga of Barnes & Noble, which is seeking to substitute its fifth chief govt in as a few years.

The bookstore fired its most up-to-date CEO, Demos Parneros, in early July, citing unspecified violations of firm coverage. Barnes & Noble later revealed that claims of sexual harassment and bullying led to Parneros’ termination.

In August, Parneros sued his former employer in federal courtroom for defamation and for firing him with out trigger.

Barnes & Noble nonetheless has extra 600 shops and 23,000 workers. Last quarter, same-store gross sales dropped 6.1% in contrast with a yr in the past.

Sales have fallen at Barnes & Noble throughout every of the previous 4 years. New techniques, such as smaller retailer codecs and a kitchen idea, have struggled to win back shoppers.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, mentioned in September that a lot of the shops “feel tired, are too large and too cluttered, and do not offer the consumer any compelling reason to visit and buy.”

He believes Barnes & Noble will shutter extra shops: “Barnes & Noble needs to slim down in order to survive.”

Barnes & Noble’s issues come as native and unbiased bookstores are resurgent.

The American Booksellers Association, a commerce group, reported that the variety of unbiased places rose 6% final yr to 2,470.

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