NEW YORK, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Ron Burkle is hoping to win three seats on Barnes & Noble’s BKS.N board of directors at the bookseller’s annual meeting on Sept. 28.
Burkle has feuded with the company’s chairman and largest shareholder, Leonard Riggio, and faulted Barnes & Noble’s corporate governance under its current board. [ID:nN30170981]
Here is a timeline of major events in Barnes & Noble’s conflict with Burkle and the company’s history.
Nov. 24, 2008 - Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies investment firm makes its first investment in Barnes & Noble, buying 75,200 shares.
Oct. 20, 2009 - Barnes & Noble unveils its Nook electronic reader, its answer to Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) Kindle device. The bookseller’s e-books strategy was a major source of disagreement between Riggio and Burkle.
Nov. 10, 2009 - Burkle buys 1 million shares. That week he makes a series of other transactions, doubling his stake to 16.8 percent in a matter of days.
Nov. 18, 2009 - Barnes & Noble puts a “poison pill” in place to avert a possible hostile takeover. The pill limits any shareholder to a 20 percent stake.
March 18, 2010 - Barnes & Noble names William Lynch, who oversaw the Nook’s development, as CEO, replacing Riggio’s brother Stephen.
May 5, 2010- Burkle buys 100,000 shares, taking his stake to nearly 20 percent. He also files a lawsuit in Delaware Chancery Court challenging the poison pill.
Aug. 3, 2010- Barnes & Noble puts itself up for sale. Riggio says he is interested in making a bid with other investors.
Aug. 12, 2010 - Burkle launches a proxy battle after he loses “poison pill” challenge and talks with Riggio to end their dispute break down. Burkle seeks a seat on the board with two outside directors of his choice.
Sept. 2, 2010 - Burkle says he is appealing Delaware court’s rejection of his challenge to the poison pill.
Sept. 28, 2010 - Scheduled date for annual shareholder meeting in New York.
KEY DATES IN BARNES & NOBLE’S HISTORY
* 1970s - Riggio buys Barnes & Noble’s trade name and its flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
* 1975 - Barnes & Noble begins discounting bestsellers by 40 percent, starting a trend that squeezes smaller bookstores.
* 1987 - Barnes & Noble buys B. Dalton Bookseller, a 797-store chain.
* 1993 - Barnes & Noble launches an IPO.
* 2002 - Riggio steps down as CEO, is replaced by his brother Stephen. Sources: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings, court filings, press releases, company website
Compiled by Phil Wahba; Editing by Richard Chang