Best Buy founder Richard Schulze wants to take the electronics retail store chain private, according to a letter sent to shareholders today.
Best Buy has experienced some turbulence in terms of profitability over the last year, citing heavy competition with online retailers as one of the biggest factors for this. Talk of taking the company private first started back in June, as VentureBeat previously reported.
Schulze, who stepped down as Best Buy’s chairman earlier in the year, currently owns 20 percent of Best Buy stock and is offering others $24 to $26 per share to take the company private. The offer is about 34 percent higher than the stock’s closing price of $17.64 on Friday. The offer would also value the company at $8.5 billion.
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Schulze intends to contribute $1 billion in equity from his shares, with the remaining amount coming from private-equity firms with an interest in acquiring Best Buy, reports Bloomberg. None of these equity firms, however, are mentioned in the letter.
“I have been actively exploring all available options for my ownership stake,” Schulze wrote in the letter to shareholders. “That exploration has reinforced my belief that bold and extensive changes are needed for Best Buy to return to market leadership and has led me to the conclusion that the company’s best chance for renewed success will be to implement these changes under a different ownership structure.”
It’s unknown at this point if the board will allow Schulze the opportunity to conduct due diligence and form a bidding group. We’re reaching out to Best Buy for further comment and will update the post with any new information.
Do you think taking Best Buy private will help return the electronics store giant to its former glory? Let us know in the comment section.