Barnes and Noble has been in trouble for a very long time. The company has had 5 different CEO’s in the past 7 years and various turnaround strategies have all failed. The bookseller formed a committee to explore selling the company and it has paid off. Today, Barnes and Noble has officially announced they have been fully acquired by Elliott, the same Hedge Fund that owns the largest bookseller in the UK, Waterstones.
Barnes & Noble serves 627 different communities across all 50 states, where it remains the #1 bookseller in the United States. Elliott seeks to build upon this strong foundation as it addresses the significant challenges facing the bricks and mortar book retail space in the United States, applying a model that successfully turned around Waterstones over the past decade. Elliott will own both Barnes & Noble and Waterstones and, while each bookseller will operate independently, James Daunt will serve as CEO of both companies and relocate from London to New York.
James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble said, “This is a very good day for bookselling. Barnes & Noble is the greatest of all bookstore names and will now benefit from the support of an owner committed to physical bookselling. With investment and concentration on the core principles of good bookselling, the prospects for this extraordinary company are bright. I look forward very much to working with the booksellers at Barnes & Noble, being already indebted to Len Riggio for his wisdom and grateful for the welcome and professionalism of the executive team during the acquisition process.”
Paul Best, Portfolio Manager and Head of European Private Equity at Elliott, added, “Our investment in Barnes & Noble, following our acquisition of Waterstones just over a year ago, demonstrates our commitment to bookselling and to real bookstores. Barnes & Noble has an extraordinary heritage, one that we want to protect and grow. We look forward to working with James Daunt and the Barnes & Noble management team in this exciting endeavor.”
Barnes and Noble will no longer be a public company and instead will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elliott and Barnes & Noble’s common stock will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.