Leonard Riggio, founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble is weighing a plan to bid for the company's bookstore business, The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported, citing people familiar with the situation.
Riggio, Barnes & Noble's biggest shareholder with about 30 per cent holding, has informally told the board that he is interested in buying the bookstore business and spinning out its Nook e-reader and tablet business, as well as its college store chain.
Riggio's interest so far has been tentative, but he would make his interest formal this week, the report said.
New York-based Barnes & Noble, a Fortune 500 company, is the largest bookstore chain in the US with 689 bookstores in 50 states.
Its two other wholly-owned subsidiaries are Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, which has 636 college bookstores serving nearly 4 million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the country, and an online business that is among the largest e-commerce sites, which also features more than two million titles for its electronic reader, Nook Bookstore.
The company has a market cap of around $809 million, and posted net loss of $68.million in 2012 on revenues of $7.1 billion.