Stephen Gordon

Barnes & Noble Inc. announced late Friday that Liberty Media Corp. acquired a stake in the book retailer through the purchase of newly issued convertible preferred stock. John Malone's media conglomerate invested $204 million in the New York-based target, which had been on the auction block for about a year. Barnes & Noble hired Lazard last August to explore strategic alternatives, including a sale of the entire company. Liberty followed up in May, offering to acquire a 70% stake at $17 per share. Today's investment, albeit smaller, entitles Liberty to elect two nominees to the Barnes & Noble board.

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