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Retail

Readerlink works towards higher bid for Barnes & Noble: WSJ

FILM PHOTO: A patron looks at books at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Pasadena, California November 26, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) - Book distribution company Readerlink LLC is working towards making a bid for Barnes & Nobles Inc that would top hedge fund Elliott Management Corp’s agreed price to buy the U.S bookseller, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing a source.

Last week, Barnes & Noble said it would be bought by Elliott Management Corp for $475.8 million, marking the end of the U.S. book retailer as a public company.

The merger agreement with Elliott has a “keep-shop” provision that says if the company strikes a deal with a third party before 11:59 p.m ET on June 13, Elliott would be entitled to a payment of up to $4 million, the report said, citing a regulatory filing. Thereafter, the breakup fee will be $17.5 million.

If Readerlink can get financing, it would consider making a bid before the cutoff date, the report said, adding that the company may join with another investor.

Readerlink did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment, while Barnes & Noble and Elliott declined to comment.

Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel

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