Liberty Media Offers to Purchase 70% Stake in Barnes & Noble20 May, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Liberty Media Corp. has offered to acquire majority ownership in book and packaged media retailer Barnes & Noble Inc.
Englewood, Colo.-based Liberty said its $17-per-share cash offer would amount to a bid worth about $1 billion depending on third-party financing.
Liberty owns numerous business interests, including Starz LLC and subsidiary Starz Entertainment, which licenses movies and original TV programming to multichannel video distributors and Netflix.
Liberty, in a statement, said the proposed merger is contingent on a variety of conditions, including involvement by founding Barnes & Noble chairman Leonard Riggio.
Riggio started the chain in 1965 with a single store in New York. The country’s largest book retailer now has more than 700 stores nationwide, in addition to another 636 stores operated Barnes & Noble College Booksellers LLC subsidiary.
Barnes & Noble, which put itself up for sale in August, previously had expressed interest in a minority stake in bankrupt No. 2 book retailer Borders Group. Borders is in the process of shuttering more than a third of its 642 stores.
Separately, Amazon said it now sells more electronic books than print editions.