Best Buy founder Richard Schulze wants back in. Schulze, who stepped down as chairman in June after news of ex-CEO Brian Dunn's affair broke, today offered to take the struggling company private at $24 to $26 a share, reports Bloomberg. That values the company at around $8.5 billion, which is 36% more than Friday's closing price. He made the offer in a letter sent to the company's board, in which he writes that reviewing the options he has for his 20.1% ownership stake "reinforced my belief that bold and extensive changes are needed for Best Buy to return to market leadership."
The 71-year-old now needs the board's OK to conduct due diligence and assemble a bidding group comprised of execs and private-equity funds that could present a full offer. Bloomberg reports that Schulze has been unsuccessfully lobbying the board for those exact permissions in recent weeks; a source says the board asked for more time to ponder the matter, as it was still looking for a CEO and felt it wasn't the best time to go private. Shares were up 22% to $21.52 in early trading at 9:15am ET. (Read more Best Buy stories.)