Chairman Looks to Buy Back Barnes & Noble

Leonard Riggio looking to acquire retail business, not Nook

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 25, 2013 10:06 AM CST

(Newser) Struggling Barnes & Noble might get bought by the very man who started the chain 40 years ago. Leonard Riggio, who bought the Barnes & Noble name and flagship location in the 1970s and turned it into the country's biggest bookseller, told the company's board today that he plans to make an offer, the New York Times reports. Riggio, the current chairman of the company, is looking to acquire its retail assets, including its website, but not its Nook e-book division.

Riggio is the largest Barnes & Noble shareholder, owning almost 30% of the company. He's successfully fended off recent outsider efforts to acquire the company, partially by arguing that its e-book business would help it to thrive once again; Barnes & Noble has already considered spinning Nook off from the retail stores. Riggio will negotiate a price with the board, and a special committee has been formed to consider the proposal.

In a Feb. 26, 2008 file photo Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble, is seen in New Orleans.
In a Feb. 26, 2008 file photo Leonard Riggio, chairman of Barnes & Noble, is seen in New Orleans.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
In this Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, photo, The exterior of a Barnes & Noble bookstore is seen in Salem, NH.
In this Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, photo, The exterior of a Barnes & Noble bookstore is seen in Salem, NH.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
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