Barnes & Noble Acquired by Elliott Management for $683M
Hedge fund Elliott Management announced Friday that the firm will acquire bookseller Barnes & Noble for $683 million, reports CNBC. The acquisition is set to close in the third quarter of 2019, and will be structured as a merger. Barnes & Noble has faced increasing pressure from Amazon.com as well as independent booksellers in recent years, leading to a nearly $1 billion loss in market value over the past five years. Elliott Management acquired Britain's largest bookseller, Waterstones, last year.
Total Retail's Take: Barnes & Noble has been in a downward spiral following years of sluggish sales and increasing competition in the bookselling space, primarily from Amazon.com. Elliott Management's acquisition of Barnes & Noble likely saved the retailer from a bankruptcy filing, however, there are plenty of questions around how the investment firm plans to return Barnes & Noble to profitability. The growth plan needs to be aggressive and focus on getting customers back into physical storefronts. Barnes & Noble has already begun transitioning to stores with a smaller footprint, reducing cost per location. This tactic seems to be a step in the right direction, as the company's 2018 holiday sales rose 1.1 percent year-over-year. Expect more change for Barnes & Noble in the near future under the leadership of Elliott Management.
Kristina Stidham is the digital content manager at Total Retail and sister brand Women in Retail Leadership Circle. She is passionate about digital media and handles social media, video, and podcast production for both brands, as well as contributing articles and attending events. Kristina holds a B.A. in Media Studies and Production from the Temple University Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia.