Barnes and Noble has received a viable offer to buy their entire bookstore business from G Asset Management. They have proposed a complete buyout at a deal valued at $672 million. If they are unable to go through on this deal, their secondary offer is to buy a 51% stake in Nook Media.
There are plenty of barriers in place to prevent the sale of the last major bookstore in the USA. Len Riggio, chairman of B&N wanted to take the company private and was willing to pay big money to do it. The threat of shareholder lawsuits put the kibosh on his plans.
G Asset Management has had their sights on Barnes and Noble for quite awhile. They originally wanted to buy the College Bookstore division in 2012, and has been vocal at splitting Nook away from Barnes and Noble.
Barnes and Noble is a bookstore on the decline. The stores are profitable but Nook Media has been bleeding month for over a year. This prompted the exodus of all senior executives in charge of Nook. The head of eBooks, the head of hardware and head of accessories have all left the company and a new CEO has taken the helm. Interesting enough, the current CEO comes from a financial background, which makes the likelihood of a sale more realistic now, than under the previous regime.
What are the current barriers to sell the company? It is thought that Len Riggio controls 45% of the company and he would have to OK the deal in order for it go though. The Asset Management company also does not actually have the money to buy Barnes and Noble, instead they would have to raise it themselves.