Coverage from the Wall Street Journal
By Russell Adams and Jefferey Trachtenberg:
“John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. made an offer Thursday to acquire Barnes & Noble Inc. for $1.02 billion, a dramatic turn for the nation’s largest bookstore chain—which put itself up for sale last summer but struggled to find a buyer as the outlook for traditional booksellers soured’
The offer, which would also include the assumption of about $450 million in debt, represents a bold foray by Liberty into a new segment of the entertainment business. Liberty owns interests in a wide range of electronic retail, media and communications ventures, though its biggest business is the home-shopping-network QVC.
The bookseller said a special committee of the board of directors hasn’t evaluated the proposal yet. Barnes & Noble and Liberty said the proposal is contingent on the participation of the retailer’s 70-year-old chairman, Leonard Riggio, “both in terms of his continuing equity ownership and his continuing role in management.” It’s unlikely that a bid by Liberty would have been made without the approval of Mr. Riggio, who is also the retailer’s largest investor.
Select List of Liberty Media Assets (Liberty Capital Assets/Liberty Media Assets/Liberty Interactive)
100% of Evite
100% of QVC (Home Shopping)
100% of Starz (Satellite/Online Movies)
100% of Leisure Arts, Inc.
“Publisher and marketer of needlework, craft, decorating, entertaining and other lifestyle interest “how-to” books.”
32% of HSN (Home Shopping)
67% of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions
40% of SiriusXM Satellite/Internet Radio
Coverage from Bloomberg
“Being acquired by a larger company such as Liberty would give Barnes & Noble the flexibility to close stores faster, said Peter Wahlstrom, an analyst for Morningstar Investment Services in Chicago. The bookseller would also gain access to capital to invest in its digital unit and advertising, he said.”
“They are going up against some pretty big companies in Amazon and Apple with really deep pockets, and if you get into something like a Liberty Media they might be willing to spend more money,” Wahlstrom said. “Barnes & Noble is kind of hamstrung now.”