Bookseller's chairman seeks to buy back stores


Barnes & Noble chairman Leonard Riggio, joining a growing list of executives lining up to buy the fading companies they founded, offered to buy the bookseller’s declining retail business, leaving it to focus on its more promising Nook e-reader and college bookstores.

Barnes & Noble’s shares rose as much as 11 per cent to $15.00 in morning trading, valuing it at about $900 million.

The New York-based company’s retail business has struggled in recent years as book buyers switched to digital formats, underscored by a 10.9 per cent fall in sales at its bookstores and website in the critical year-end holiday period.

The bookseller, which saw a short-lived rise in sales after the September 2011 liquidation of rival Borders Group, has said it expects to shut down as many as a third of its retail stores over the next decade. – (Reuters)