Hedge fund Elliott Management has acquired Barnes & Noble for $476m in cash.
The sale was announced Friday morning after months of drama and conjecture over the fate of the bookstore behemoth. Would there be a bailout? Or would Barnes & Noble merely be an historical tale we tell our grandchildren?
The ending seems to be a happy one. Time will tell if the outcome is only a misdirect.
A new chapter
The middle-aged bookseller started as a single Manhattan storefront in 1971 and later evolved into a national chain of book superstores.
In the ’90s, Barnes & Noble was notorious for cutting prices and pushing out paperback mom and pop shops across the US.
But in recent years, the word-mecca has been rocked by the Amazon reign — struggling to make a profit. In the last decade, the online reckoning forced the chain to close more than 150 stores — down to 627.
Elliott is the hero of this page turner… for now.
Publishers were anxious as the collapse of the world’s largest bookstore loomed. To a publisher, that’s like a basketball losing its hoop. Or a meatloaf without an American — oh, the humanity.
The acquisition has curbed fears among publishers and agents for now, but like all good stories, there’s usually an ending. Pour one out for the Toys ‘R’ Us of books.