Founder Leonard Riggio Expresses Interest in Barnes & Noble Sale

Leonard Riggio, founder/chairman of Barnes & Noble, said he could take part in the ongoing sales process of national bookseller (and packaged-media retailer), according to a regulatory filing.

Barnes & Noble founder Leonard Riggio

Riggio, who owns 19.2% of B&N, launched his first bookstore in 1965, which later morphed into Barnes & Noble and currently employs 26,000 people at 630 stores across the country.

In October, Barnes & Noble announced that its board of directors had begun a formal review process to evaluate a possible sale of the company – a move supported by Riggio.

The 77-year-old executive said he is “evaluating,” and “may participate” in any potential sale of Barnes & Noble, including making, individually or with others, an offer to acquire the company and/or selling his stake in the retailer in connection with any transaction.

No sale of the company has been announced.

While in the midst of its busiest time of the year, Barnes & Noble remains embroiled in a nasty legal battle with terminated former CEO Demos Parneros for alleged inappropriate behavior in the workplace. The company also claims Parneros scuttled a possible sale of the company to a third party.

Barnes & Noble earlier this month reported a $1.5 million operating loss for its Nook business unit. Revenue dropped nearly 17% to $21.7 million from $25.9 million last year.

The Nook segment, which includes electronic readers and tablets, in addition to digital content (movies, TV shows, music), continues to a bright spot for the last-standing national bookstore chain, which continues to grapple with a changing consumer habits underscored by online entertainment and ecommerce.

Legacy retail sales – which include packaged media – generated an operating loss of $26.7 million. Revenue dipped 2% to $753.2 million.



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