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Activist Investor Makes Bid to Take B&N Private

After failing to get anyone to buy B&N this summer, investor Sandell Capital Management announced a bid to take Barnes & Noble private – at a value far below what everyone thought the company was worth only five years ago.

From CNBC:

Barnes & Noble shares jumped as much as 16 percent Thursday afternoon after The Wall Street Journal reported an activist investor has proposed a deal to take the bookseller private. The stock was halted briefly on the news, and again while awaiting Barnes & Noble’s response.

Sandell Asset Management came to the retailer with a transaction that would value Barnes & Noble at around $650 million, or $9 a share. Barnes & Noble shares closed Wednesday at $6.60 apiece.

Barnes & Noble issued a rebuttal, saying: "The Company does not take Sandell’s proposal as bona fide in that Sandell is the beneficial owner of 1 million common Barnes & Noble shares worth approximately $7 million."

Sandell controls roughly 2 million Barnes & Noble shares, for a stake in the company of about 2.75 percent, a securities filing shows.

Remember when B&N planned to spin off Nook Media in 2012 and valued the new company at $1.8 billion?

Those were the days.

No one is taking this offer seriously, although B&N' stock is trading up on the speculation that Sandell could pull it off.

B&n’s stock is trading at just above $7 a share late Thursday afternoon; in comparison, the stock traded at $13 to $17 for much of 2012.

image  by Mike Tewkesbury

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BDR November 17, 2017 um 2:07 pm

BKS traded at 18.92 in 2015 and had a high of 30 in 2006. B&N has repeatedly lifted their skirt with a come-hither wink over the years and, regardless of their disdain for this offer, it’s the only nibble they’ve gotten.

Most likely, this offer was done to spur other suitors but such seems unlikely. They’ve not quite fallen through their rotting floorboards but that time is coming unless they pull some mighty powerful magic and I’m not sure even Houdini could make that happen. Launching into the restaurant biz?That ain’t gonna cut it; they need something bigger and more likely to succeed. Or else.

Allen F November 18, 2017 um 1:00 pm

Someone’s hoping for a pump-n-dump game – using someone else’s money.

I’m reminded of a very old movie where someone drops a milky-way bar into a crowded pool …

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