Barnes & Noble Finds a Potential Buyer

Barnes & Noble announced yesterday that they have received a $1 billion buyout offer from Liberty Media. The struggling bookstore chain had been looking for a buyer since last summer.

Liberty Media is a Colorado-based media conglomerate chaired by John Malone. The company has interests in cable channels QVC and Starz along with websites like Evite and Expedia.

The rising popularity of ebooks has created a great deal of upheaval in the book business. As I wrote yesterday, Amazon recently announced that they are now selling more Kindle ebooks than hardcover and paperback books combined.

However, Barnes & Noble’s Nook ereader has been successful at a time when their retail sales have declined. While Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad are the most popular ereaders, Barnes & Noble says that the Nook claims 25% of ebook market. Plus, Barnes & Noble has confirmed that they plan to unveil a new ereader device, probably an updated Nook, on May 24th at Book Expo America in New York.

In a press release, Barnes & Noble cautions that this is not yet a done deal. They say, “the Special Committee of the Board of Directors formed in connection with the Company’s review of strategic alternatives will evaluate this proposal.”

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