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‘Elliot Management in talks to book a deal with Barnes & Noble’
Posted on Friday, 07 June 2019 14:46
Elliot Management is in negotiations to take listed US-based Barnes & Noble private, a source close to the situation told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter, said the hedge fund will acquire the book retailer for USD 6.50 per share, giving it a value of around USD 476.00 million.

A potential offer price represents a premium of 9.1 per cent to the target’s closing price of USD 5.96 on 6th June, the last trading day prior to the news of a possible transaction.

The deal could take place within days, according to the WSJ.

When contacted by the news provider, neither Elliot or Barnes & Noble provided a comment.

Headquartered in New York, Barnes & Noble is the world’s largest bookseller, with 630 stores across 50 states.

As well as books, the company offers gifts, toys and music products, among others.

Its online channel also provides the largest in-stock selection of in-print books, including more than 30.00 million listings from its network of out-of-print, rare and used book dealers.

For the financial year ended 28th April 2018, Barnes & Noble posted sales of USD 3.66 billion, down from USD 3.78 billion in the preceding 12 months.

In fact, the company’s annual sales have dropped year-on-year since 2014 (FY 2014: USD 4.30 billion; FY 2015: USD 4.11 billion; FY 2016: USD 4.03 billion).

Reuters notes that the decline is due to the launch of Amazon’s online marketplace for books and customers increasingly moving towards video games and other non-reading activities.

The change in trends and growing competition has led to Barnes & Noble closing its flagship store and cut jobs, the news provider observed.

According to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau Van Dijk, there have been just 50 deals targeting book stores operators announced worldwide since the beginning of 2018.

Interestingly, Elliot Advisors (UK) agreed to buy a stake in UK-based Waterstones Booksellers for GBP 300.00 million in August last year.

Other targets include eBook Initiative Japan, Jamalon and Decitre Interactive.

© Zephus Ltd