US bookseller Barnes & Noble has received an offer for the company from Liberty Media, a private investment group. The deal values the business at about $1bn, but Liberty said it expected to spend $500m on the acquisition of up to 70% of the group's shares.
The deal is contingent on the participation of the founding chairman Leonard Riggio, who would retain an equity stake in the company. Barnes & Noble said it had not yet evaluated the offer, and that there was no guarantee the proposal would become a "definitive offer".
B&N began exploring the possible sale of the company last year, as part of its efforts to stave off the hostile takeover approach from Ron Burkle. Burkle still owns 20% of the equity.
Liberty said Barnes & Noble was "the established leader in bookselling" and was at the "forefront of the transition to digital, with a management team that has demonstrated expertise in operations and positioned the company for growth in a dynamic marketplace".
Separately, B&N c.e.o. William Lynch told the Wall Street Journal that its e-book marketshare was now "north of 25%".
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