Readerlink is Working on Higher Bid For B&N

It seems last week’s reports of B&N’s acquisition were greatly exaggerated.

The WSJ reports that book distributor Readerlink is working on a bid for Barnes & Nobles that would top the $683 million deal negotiated by hedge fund Elliott Management.

The purchase agreement with Elliott has a claue that says if B&N strikes a deal with a third party before 11:59 p.m on 13 June, Elliott would be entitled to a payment of up to $4 million. If the deal is struck after the 13th, Elliott would get $17.5 million.

The WSJ said that Readerlink would consider making a bid before the cutoff date if it can get the financing together in time, adding that the company may join with another investor.

Readerlink did not respond to a request for comment, while Elliott and Barnes & Noble have each declined to comment.

Wow – can you beleive there are actually two companies that want to buy B&N, and not just so it can be stripped for parts?

image by JeepersMedia via Flickr

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Xaver Basora11 June, 2019


    It’s to save traditional publishing. Without Barnes and Noble the publishers have no distribution network for their books. That’ll persuade independent authors to self publish with Amazon or sign up with smaller publishers.
    And the spiral begins because authors and readers won’t need New York, London or any big city publishers


  2. Olivier11 June, 2019

    Why is it so surprising? You said yourself many times that B&N’s slow demise was mostly due to its abysmal management. If so, there is hope that a turnaround could be engineered.

    A book distributor looks like the right kind of acquirer.

  3. Chuck Dee11 June, 2019

    I love this news. I never understood how they got to this point and some of the decisions that management was making. I still believe that the closer pairing of their publishing and digital business is the way to combat Amazon. Having a publisher in that battle would be a boon to the understanding of, instead of the replacement of traditional publishing pipelines.

    1. Nate Hoffelder12 June, 2019

      I don’t see that happening.

  4. Disgusting Dude12 June, 2019

    The agreed upon price includes about $200M in debt assumption so the real upfront price is lower than many imagined. Even Elliot ‘s breakup fee is minimal so it’s not like they’re desperate to buy it.
    It remains how many bidders ante up once they see the books.

    1. Nate Hoffelder13 June, 2019

      indeed, the breakup fee is barely enough to cover admin Elliott incurred in making the offer – it’s not nearly enough to count as a penalty


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