NEW YORK (
) -- Billionaire investor Ron Burkle didn't stay quiet for too long. Merely days after
Barnes & Noble
received a $1 billion bid from Liberty Media, Burkle looks like he won't give up on the book-selling giant without a fight.
Burkle's Yucaipa upped its stake in the book-selling giant just days after the company received a $1 billion bid from Liberty Media. Burkle purchased 603,000 shares, bringing his total holdings to 11.3 million, or 19.74% from 18.74%. He purchased the shares for about $18.49 each on Monday.
This raises the possibility that Burkle might challenge Liberty Media's offer, which was valued at $17 a share, a 20% premium over the closing price of $14.11 on Thursday. As part of the deal, Liberty Capital would receive equity ownership of about 70% of Barnes & Noble. Liberty expects its cash contribution to be around $500 million "depending on the amount of financing that can be obtained."
Barnes & Noble is reviewing the offer, which some analysts insist is too low. The company said the proposal is contingent on the participation of its chairman, Leonard Riggio, "both in terms of his continuing equity ownership and his continuing role in management."
Burkle has been questioning Barnes & Noble's management for some time and lost a proxy contest to unseat three board members, including Riggio, last year. But it was his insistence that pushed Barnes & Noble to explore strategic alternatives, including putting the company up for sale in August.
--Written by Jeanine Poggi in New York.
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