Barnes & Noble Founder Looks to Buy Back Bookstores, Not Nook

Feb 26, 2013

Barnes & Noble's future is once again up in the air, with the company's founder and chairman, Leonard Riggio, reportedly telling the board of directors that he's interested in buying the retail business - and only the retail business. Barnes & Noble put out a press release confirming the speculation. Riggio wants the stores, and the website but not Nook Media. The news of a possible split led to stock prices jumping, and seems to be a hit with investors. 

According to the New York Times' Media Decoder:

"Analysts thought the deal made sense only if Mr. Riggio paid a low price for the legacy stores, which analysts valued between $484.5 million to more than $1 billion. Investors appeared sanguine Monday, as Barnes & Noble shares jumped 11.5 percent, to $15.06."

With many of its brick-and-mortar competitors gone, Barnes & Noble could enjoy relative success as a private company without shareholders to be beholden to. After all, as USA TODAY reports, "Despite more readers buying e-books, about half of Barnes & Noble's revenue comes from its stores and website."