The Globe and Mail

Go to the Globe and Mail homepage

Jump to main navigationJump to main content

A woman looks in from a window panel of a Barnes and Noble store in New York in this October 24, 2012 file photo. Barnes and Noble Inc Chairman Leonard Riggio has told the board he plans to buy the retail assets of the company, excluding the Nook Media business, sending the company's shares up as much as 26 per cent before the bell on Monday.
A woman looks in from a window panel of a Barnes and Noble store in New York in this October 24, 2012 file photo. Barnes and Noble Inc Chairman Leonard Riggio has told the board he plans to buy the retail assets of the company, excluding the Nook Media business, sending the company's shares up as much as 26 per cent before the bell on Monday.
(Brendan McDermid/Reuters)

FINANCIAL TIMES

What’s Barnes & Noble’s founder up to?

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

The continuing melodrama at Barnes & Noble Inc. is a page-turner. But wise readers will keep Leonard Riggio, founder, chairman and largest shareholder of the U.S. bookseller, in mind even while the Microsoft rumours percolate. A report last week had Microsoft – already an investor in Nook (Pearson, parent of FT, is also an investor) – preparing to acquire the digital business for $1-billion (U.S.), only for a subsequent report to dismiss an imminent offer. Mr. Riggio though lurks in the background; He expressed interest in acquiring the Barnes’s physical stores in February. Since then little has been heard about the details of his offer but upcoming fourth-quarter results are the perfect place to start the company’s next chapter.