Tags: G Asset | Barnes andNoble | Nook | Amazon

G Asset Offers to Buy Majority Stakes in Barnes & Noble or Nook

Friday, 21 Feb 2014 03:23 PM

Investment firm G Asset Management said on Friday that it had offered to buy a 51 percent stake in either Barnes & Noble Inc. or in the bookseller's Nook digital business.

The little known firm said the proposal for Barnes & Noble as a whole would be for $22 per share, which would value the top U.S. bookstore chain at $1.32 billion. It follows an earlier proposal in November for $20 per share, its second.

G Asset, which not did detail how it would finance a deal, also made an alternative offer to buy Nook for $5 per share, saying spinning off the digital books and device business would create "substantial shareholder value."

The latest offer for the whole company would value Barnes & Noble at $1.32 billion, while the proposal for Nook would value that unit at about $300 million.

The firm has previously pressed the company to spin off its Nook unit from Barnes & Noble's bookstore and college units.

Michael Glickstein, G Asset's Chief Investment Officer, and the only person listed on the firm's website, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Barnes & Noble shares were up 5.8 percent at $17.75 in afternoon trading after going as high as $19.12 after the news was released, suggesting Wall Street analysts were doubtful a deal would get done.

A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined to comment beyond confirming that the company had received G Asset's offer.

The original Nook device was launched in 2009 to help Barnes & Noble fend off Amazon.com Inc. and allowed the retailer to win as much as 27 percent of the U.S. e-books market.

But the company lost hundreds of millions of dollars trying to keep pace with deep-pocketed rivals such as Amazon, Apple Inc. and Google Inc. It has scaled back its Nook business and is focusing more on content and software.

Two years ago, Microsoft Corp. invested $300 million in the Nook unit for a 17.6 percent stake, valuing the division at $1.7 billion. In late 2012, Pearson PLC took a 5 percent stake in Nook for $89.5 million.

Barnes & Noble will report quarterly earnings on Thursday.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Investment firm G Asset Management said on Friday that it had offered to buy a 51 percent stake in either Barnes & Noble Inc. or in the bookseller's Nook digital business.
G Asset,Barnes andNoble,Nook,Amazon
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2014-23-21
Friday, 21 Feb 2014 03:23 PM
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