For Sale: World's Largest Bookseller

Aug 04, 2010


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On Tuesday, August 3, the world's largest bookseller announced it was considering strategic alternatives, including a sale of the company, in order to increase stockholder value. The bookseller has moved into the digital market in recent years with the release of its nook e-reader, and the announcement of an e-book publishing initiative called pubit!. The Board stated:

"As the world's largest bookseller, Barnes & Noble has an iconic brand and unique competitive advantages we believe will position the company to succeed over time in a rapidly changing market.  The Board is confident in Barnes & Noble's strategy and fully supportive of the senior management team, which is delivering explosive growth in our fast-developing digital business.  The Board has concluded that a review of strategic alternatives is the appropriate next step to take full advantage of our compelling digital opportunities and to create value for shareholders, customers, and employees."

Early speculation lists Amazon and Microsoft among possible buyers. As it turned out, simply making that announcement was enough to increase the company's stock value. TheStreet.com reports: "Shares of the book retailer dropped 7.1% to close at $12.84, but are currently surging 26% in after-hours activity."