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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

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Xaver Basora June 11, 2019 um 7:50 am


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


Olivier June 11, 2019 um 9:03 am

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.

Chuck Dee June 11, 2019 um 9:44 am

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.

DaveMich June 11, 2019 um 4:26 pm

DaveMich June 12, 2019 um 10:55 am

Nate Hoffelder June 12, 2019 um 12:58 pm

I don’t see that happening.

Disgusting Dude June 12, 2019 um 1:03 pm

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.

Nate Hoffelder June 13, 2019 um 8:59 pm

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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