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.