(Barnes & Noble article updated with stock price movement.)

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Barnes & Noble ( BKS) has rejected the bid by billionaire investor Ronald Burkle to double his stake in the book retailer.

In a letter to Burkle, the company said: "The board has determined by unanimous vote that acceding to your request would not be in the best interests of all Barnes & Noble's shareholders."

Last month, Burkle sent a letter to the Barnes & Noble's board asking to up his stake to 37% without activating the company's poison pill. The company's poison pill takes effect when an investors exceeds a 20% ownership.

A poison pill is designed to prevent a hostile takeover.

A 37% stake would have made Burkle and his firm Yucaipa the largest shareholder ahead of the Riggio family.

Shares of Barnes & Noble are climbing 2.6% to $21.74 in afternoon trading.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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