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Barnes & Noble going private in $476M sale to hedge fund

June 7, 2019

The one-time bookselling giant Barnes & Noble is being acquired by a hedge fund for $476 million.

Barnes & Noble said Friday that it's being acquired by Elliott Management for $6.50 per share, an approximately 9% percent premium to the company's Thursday closing stock price. Elliott bought the United Kingdom bookseller Waterstones in June 2018.

Barnes & Noble still has 627 stores in the United States, including five in the Indianapolis area, with one at 8675 River Crossing Blvd. on the city's north side, and others in Carmel, Noblesville, Plainfield and Greenwood.

Waterstones CEO James Daunt will also take on the role of CEO at Barnes & Noble.

The national chain that many blamed for the demise of independent bookstores has been ravaged by Amazon.com and other online sellers. Independent bookstores have also persisted in the face of digital publishing.

The company said in October that it might put itself up for sale after it was approached by a number of potential buyers, including founder Leonard Riggio who opened Barnes & Noble stores across the country and turned it into a superstore.

The sale, valued at about $683 million including debt, is targeted to close in the third quarter if approved by regulators and shareholders.

Shares of the New York company were up 10.7 percent Friday morning, to $6.60 per share. The stock peaked above $30 per share in 2006.

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