UPDATE 1-Liberty Media offers $1 billion for Barnes & Noble

NEW YORK Thu May 19, 2011 7:07pm EDT

NEW YORK May 19 (Reuters) - Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N) said John Malone's Liberty Media Corp (LINTA.O) has proposed buying the largest U.S. bookstore chain for $1.02 billion.

Liberty Media has offered $17 per share, a 20.5 percent premium over Barnes & Noble's closing share price on Thursday. Barnes & Noble said the offer has not yet been evaluated by its special committee.

Barnes & Noble put itself up for sale last August saying its shares were undervalued.

The company, which operates 720 bookstores, as well as a chain of college campus stores, has been facing declining print book sales. (Reporting by Phil Wahba; editing by Andre Grenon)

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