Barnes & Noble draws private equity interest: sources

NEW YORK Wed Aug 4, 2010 7:55pm EDT

A view of the Barnes and Noble bookstore on the corner of Warren and Greenwich street in New York June 29, 2010. REUTERS/Lily Bowers

A view of the Barnes and Noble bookstore on the corner of Warren and Greenwich street in New York June 29, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Lily Bowers

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A number of private equity firms are interested in taking a look at Barnes & Noble (BKS.N), with names including Bain Capital, Apollo APOLO.UL, TPG Capital TPG.UL and others, sources familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

Still, it was unclear how any private equity interest might be structured, given that billionaire investor Ron Burkle and company founder Leonard Riggio have large shareholdings in the bookseller. It was also unclear the level of interest or whether any bids will materialize, the sources said.

The No. 1 U.S. bookstore chain, which has a market value of about $900 million, said on Tuesday it was reviewing strategic alternatives including a possible sale, and could get a bid from founder Riggio as part of a larger investor group.

Private equity firms have in the past had an interest in bookshops. In 2006, TPG, Bain, Apollo and Leonard Green Partners considered bidding for bookstore chain Borders Group Inc BGP.N, according to a Financial Times report at the time.

Buyout firms have recently been pursing smaller deals than the multi-billion dollar transactions they are famed for, as financing after the credit crisis became more expensive.

(Reporting by Megan Davies; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)

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Comments (4)
rescrivener wrote:
The founders of Barnes & Noble were William Barnes and G. Clifford Noble, who opened the first store in New York in 1917. It is unlikely they will be bidding.

For more on the changing face of book publishing, read The Recalcitrant Scrivener.

Aug 03, 2010 12:45am EDT  --  Report as abuse
drewbie wrote:
I think their “read in the store like it’s a library” policy is hurting them more than digital sales.

Aug 04, 2010 9:42am EDT  --  Report as abuse
nomas wrote:
that’s what every company should do put itself up for sale and then the DOW can hit 36000, without Goldman manipulation

Aug 04, 2010 12:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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