Still, it's hard to feel bad for shareholders who might have seen the initial $24 to $26 a share "proposal" as an actual takeout price.
The company's faced obvious competitive pressure from the likes of Amazon (AMZN) and Wal-Mart (WMT) for years and the company's board, which was chaired by Schulze until a scandal caused his ouster earlier in 2012, has done little to adapt to a fast-changing retail market. The recent appointment of Hubert Joly as CEO faced stiff criticism and only tracks a narrative of mismanagement.
The debt-financed takeout Schulze may unveil is also about the last thing Best Buy and its employees need financially. Already the company is rated junk by rating agencies, and its cash balances indicate increasingly limited financial flexibility for a prospective turnaround.
In Best Buy's most recent earnings, cash and cash equivalents at the retailer fell to $309 million, from over $2 billion a year ago. Meanwhile, the headline on Best Buy's earnings release is equally dire. "Best Buy Confirms Significant Decline in Fiscal Third Quarter 2013 Earnings," wrotes the company in late November.
When Schulze made his initial proposal, ratings agencies cautioned that a debt financed takeout could further cloud Best Buy's financial picture. In reaction to the proposal, ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded Best Buy's bonds to BB+, a sub investment grade rating otherwise known as 'junk,' as a result of Schulze's proposal. "
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