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Barnes & Noble sold to Wall Street for $ 476 million to hedge the fund

Barnes & Noble is acquired and privatized by a hedge fund for $ 476 million.

The national chain, which has blamed many for the decline of independent bookstores, has been devastated by Amazon.com and other online sellers remains a critical market for publishers.

It was acquired by Elliott Management on Friday and is likely to become a national chain with a business model more akin to a local bookstore.

Elliott buys Waterstones A year ago, a national British book chain has successfully mastered the online / e-reader revolution, giving back much autonomy to the managers of its nearly 300 stores. They can choose books that they believe are wanted by local readers.

The man who heads this British chain and becomes CEO of Barnes & Noble said he intended to do so for Barnes & Noble.

Leonard Riggio acquired the centennial Barnes & Noble in the 1

970s, including its flagship Manhattan store, in the 1970s. In the 1980s, he pursued aggressive expansion and established Barnes & Noble in 1987 with the acquisition of B. Dalton Bookseller and its 797 locations as a national phenomenon. The company became the country's second-largest bookseller and began selling books online in partnership with IBM and Sears

The company continued to devour other major booksellers such as Doubleday Book Shops and BookStop, which operates in Texas discount stores.

In 1993, Barnes & Noble was a listed company that opened the publishing industry. [19659002] The company sought to drive the digital transformation of books by launching its own e-reader, the Nook, in 2009 and offering more than a million books on its website Marketplace for Books, was relentless and its Kindle E. Reader is dominant today. The company has cut both the sale of Barnes & Noble and independent booksellers.

Last year Riggio was put on stage by Oren Teicher for BookExpo 2018 in New York City.

Teicher heads the American Booksellers Association, the US book retailer independent bookstore group, and a fierce rival to Barnes & Noble.

"Today, we work together to promote and support stationary bookstores," said Teicher. "I was quoted as saying that it is in the long-term interests of the entire book business that Barnes & Noble not only survive, but grow and thrive."

But Barnes & Noble has suffered.

With approximately 630 retail stores in the US from last year, it is smaller than when B. Dalton Bookseller was acquired in the late 1980s. To reverse this decline, new CEO James Daunt will try to replicate what Waterstones has done in the UK.

His main goal is to have every Barnes & Noble "In bookstores, you have to try to find the best deal for each location," Daunt told The Associated Press. "What works in Jacksonville, Florida, will not necessarily work in Hawaii."

And he sees benefits for Barnes and Noble fighting Amazon, where customer interaction is limited to buying online.

Waterstones organizes several concurrent events in its stores, making it "fun to discover books and enjoy the peculiarities of a bookstore".

Elliott pays $ 6.50 for each Barnes & Noble stock, representing a premium of approximately 9% to the company's Thursday closing price

The sale, worth approximately $ 683 million, including debt, to be finalized in the third quarter, if approved by regulators and shareholders Some industry observers are skeptical, including Mike Shatzkin, CEO of Idea Logical Company, a book industry consulting firm.

He described the entire wholesale model for each retail chain as a "concept of the 20th century" ext "It does not surprise me that Barnes and Noble's management has never come to this conclusion because they have built up their fortunes to handle larger deals "he said. "And I'm not sure if Waterstone's will lead them to a different approach." However, retailers like Target and Walmart have successfully done so, partly by using their stationary stores as starting points for fast delivery for things bought online.

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