Barnes & Noble Says It's Weighing Takeover Offers

Struggling bookstore chain Barnes & Noble (BKS) disclosed Wednesday that it's forming a special committee to consider "expressions of interest from multiple parties in making an offer to acquire the company" -- including a bid from current board chairman Leonard Riggio.

"The board of directors has appointed a special committee of independent directors ... to lead the strategic review process," BKS said in a statement released after the market closed. "The special committee will be advised by independent legal and financial advisors. Mr. Riggio has committed to support and vote his shares in favor of any transaction recommended by the special committee."

BKS shares leapt 24.5% in after-hours trading shortly after the news to hit $6.80. The stock had fallen 1.6% to $5.46 earlier in the day during regular trading, and is off more than 82% from its April 2006 intraday peak of $30.78.

Barnes & Noble also announced the adoption of a so-called "poison pill" to thwart hostile-takeover bids. Under the plan, shareholders will receive the right to buy preferred shares at a 50% discount if anyone acquires 20% of the company and launches an unsolicited tender offer for more stock.

BKS has stumbled in recent years as more and more consumers switch from physical books to e-books and online reading.

(This article has been updated with the company's stock price.)

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