Barnes & Noble board considers sale of US bookseller

Barnes & Noble board considers sale of US bookseller

<p>The US&#39;s largest book chain Barnes &amp; Noble could be sold as part of an evaluation of &quot;strategic alternatives&quot; to boost its share price. As a result, company founder and largest shareholder Leonard Riggio has said he is hoping to put together an investor group to acquire it.</p><p>Riggio said: &quot;Having spent a lifetime in bookselling and building this great company, I am as committed as ever to the future of Barnes &amp; Noble.&quot;</p><p>The board claimed Barnes &amp; Noble&#39;s shares were &quot;now significantly undervalued&quot;. It has put together a special committee of four directors who will &quot;consider all alternatives to increase stockholder value and will recommend a course of action for the company&#39;s full board&quot;, a statement said. No time line was given.</p><p>The board said Barnes &amp; Noble had &quot;an iconic brand and unique competitive advantages&quot; which meant the firm would &quot;succeed over time in a rapidly changing market&quot;. </p><p>The statement added: &quot;The board is confident in Barnes &amp; Noble&#39;s strategy and fully supportive of the senior management team, which is delivering explosive growth in our fast-developing digital business. The board has concluded that a review of strategic alternatives is the appropriate next step to take full advantage of our compelling digital opportunities and to create value for shareholders, customers, and employees.&quot;</p><p>Riggio said: &quot;I fully support the board&rsquo;s decision to evaluate strategic alternatives at this time. Regardless of whether I participate in an investment group that buys the company, I, as well as the entire senior management team, am willing and eager to remain with the company and see it through the challenging years ahead.&quot; </p><p>Barnes &amp; Noble&#39;s board stressed there was &quot;no assurance&quot; the review would lead to a sale &quot;or in any other transaction&quot;.</p><p>Earlier this year, the company revealed a it had made a turnover of $5.8bn (&pound;3.6bn) for the 12 months to 2nd May 2010, with store sales dropping 4.8% to $4.3bn while online sales grew 24% to $573m. Consolidated net earnings were $36.7m. Comparable store sales decreased 0.3% over the period. </p>