Barnes & Noble chair says no bid without prior OK

AP News
Posted: Oct 20, 2010 12:40 PM
Barnes & Noble chair says no bid without prior OK

The chairman of bookseller Barnes & Noble said he won't form a group of investors to buy the company without consent of a special committee formed to evaluate offers.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, Riggio said he is "committed to a fair and transparent process that is designed to ensure that no potential bidder or investor has any advantage,"

Barnes & Noble Inc. put itself up for sale in August response to pressure from billionaire activist investor Ron Burkle. It subsequently won a proxy battle waged by Burkle.

Chairman Leonard Riggio had said previously he was considering joining an investor group to buy the company. He already holds a nearly 30 percent stake.

Burkle had accused Barnes & Noble of being run in a way that benefited Riggio and his family more than other shareholders. Specifically he is opposed to Barnes & Noble's poison pill plan, which limits shareholder stakes, outside of Riggio and other longtime shareholders, to 20 percent. Burkle has a 19 percent stake in the company and wants to expand his stake.

Barnes & Noble shareholders will vote on the poison pill plan at a special shareholder meeting on Nov. 19.

Shares fell 24 cents to $15.11 during midday trading.