Author Topic: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out  (Read 782 times)

LilyBLily

 
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RPatton

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 12:53:14 AM »
I've long said that Riggio was the problem with B&N.

Honestly, good riddance. That man single-handedly torpedoed every CEO who came in trying to right the ship. That sale price is low too. Pretty sure they have an offer price of over 9 a few years ago.

While I'm saddened that Riggio took down the careers of so many. As someone who did jobs for both BN and Staples many many many years ago, I would sign up to work with Parneros a hundred times over and wouldn't go near BN if they offered twice the normal rate.

I do think this sale bodes well for self-publishers. If they're smart, they'll spin apart online from books, just like they spun off the text book division into it's own company.

 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 08:39:12 AM »
I'm interested in the fact that the same folks will now own Waterstones in the UK and BN in the US. They'll be operated independently, but I can see room for some synergy there. There was a point at which BN almost got a deal to sell Nooks through Waterstones. At what seemed like the last minute, Waterstones went with Amazon, and BN eventually dropped their UK Nook presence completely. Certainly an opportunity missed there. Perhaps some kind of partnership between the two chains can be worked out now.


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Joe Vasicek

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 02:09:47 PM »
If Riggio is truly out, this could be a game changer for Barnes & Noble, perhaps for the entire industry.
 

TimothyEllis

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Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 08:26:10 PM »
If Riggio is truly out, this could be a game changer for Barnes & Noble, perhaps for the entire industry.

Who is this person and why is this a game changer?

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Joe Vasicek

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 10:40:33 PM »
If Riggio is truly out, this could be a game changer for Barnes & Noble, perhaps for the entire industry.

Who is this person and why is this a game changer?

Riggio is the 70+ year old owner of Barnes & Noble, and he has done everything he possibly can to make sure that the company stays mired in the last century. He fired the last CEO after less than a year and made himself CEO, downgraded Nook, and doubled down on all the legacy business practices. With him gone, the company is finally free to innovate.
 

RPatton

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2019, 11:21:35 PM »
If Riggio is truly out, this could be a game changer for Barnes & Noble, perhaps for the entire industry.

Who is this person and why is this a game changer?

Riggio is the 70+ year old owner of Barnes & Noble, and he has done everything he possibly can to make sure that the company stays mired in the last century. He fired the last CEO after less than a year and made himself CEO, downgraded Nook, and doubled down on all the legacy business practices. With him gone, the company is finally free to innovate.

Not just the last CEO. BN has had 4 CEOs in 5 years. Every time one of the CEOs started righting the ship by innovating and moving forward, Riggio decided to get rid of them and he did Parneros seriously wrong right after Indigo walked away. Riggio said Parneros was being disloyal, but it's more likely that Indigo (the current CEO is married to the CEO of an equity fund that is fairly (low-balling here) successful) did their due diligence and said "oh hell no, that right there is dysfunction soup and not worth the accompanying headache". As soon as a CEO came up with a plan to move the company forward and it differed from Riggio's opinion (which all did), Riggio went the board and came up with a reason to fire the CEO then took over as CEO.

A good example is Parernos wanting to move into smaller stores and focus only on books. After Indigo walked away and just prior to Parernos leaving, BN announced its shift back to maintaining the superstores and the large percentage of nonbook inventory. Parneros stripped the Nook out of BN.com (the Nook was part of BN.com's accounting). As soon as that happened, BN.com showed better numbers. He also outsourced the Nook so it wouldn't be done in house. Basically, they stuck he Nook label on a device designed and maintained by another company following BN's specs. A lot of BN.com's changes appear to have been planned for during Parneros's tenure. Not sure if some of the continued improvements can be traced back to someone Parneros hired or implemented or if they are independent, but the changes started with Parneros.

I honestly believe that if Riggio had allowed Parneros to continue, BN would be slowly turning around and in a much better position that it is currently. Parneros birthed staples.com, he appreciated the .com side of business and had no problem understanding that .com was going to push out the physical stores at some point and that wasn't a bad thing. There's a reason Staples is still relevant. It adapts and adjusts to the market and doesn't get stuck in inertia from 30 years ago.
 
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LilyBLily

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2019, 12:34:37 AM »
Staples was an innovator. I went to the very first Staples often. I also went to conventional stationery stores one town over, and the difference was marked.

Riggio doesn't get this brave new world, and the irony is that what we call Barnes & Noble now is really the old discounter, Marboro Books, which I believe he was instrumental in rebranding and making upscale. So, fine, but that day, as epitomized in "You've Got Mail," is over. True to our quick turn times in this era, it didn't even last very long. Less than 20 years. It died with Borders' death, even though B&N continues to limp along.

Meanwhile, Staples has been changing to a .com business from a multi-store business, and indie bookstores are thriving again. Plus ca change, plus c'est le meme chose.
 

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Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2019, 12:55:28 AM »
Now that Riggio can't nuke the deal, I suspect the new owner will flip it to Amazon. Then Amazon will start merging their Whole Foods locations and the B&N locations into one place. Add in an upscale bicycle shop, and it'll be a hipster magnet!
 
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TimothyEllis

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Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2019, 12:59:00 AM »
I suspect the new owner will flip it to Amazon.

That is a truly depressing thought.
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Joe Vasicek

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2019, 01:37:13 AM »
I suspect the new owner will flip it to Amazon.

That is a truly depressing thought.

Just in time for the US to launch a massive anti-trust suit against Amazon and break them up!
 

LilyBLily

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2019, 01:43:55 AM »
The advantage to Amazon would be the already established foot traffic to the stores and of course the elimination of a competitor. The price is nothing to Bezos. He could buy it just to shut it down.

But there are disadvantages, too, and plenty of people who go to B&N would not go there if it were to be rebranded as an Amazon store. As uneasy as we authors are with Amazon as a business partner, our mixed emotions are nothing as compared to the frothing-at-the-mouth hatred that many non-authors have for the company. OTOH, people still shop at Whole Foods, despite Bezos owning it now.

It'll be interesting to see what happens.

There won't be an antitrust suit until there's a change in who is leading the federal government. Each of the two major political parties skews in a different direction regarding regulations to break up monopolies.
 

RPatton

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2019, 02:12:02 AM »
There won't be an antitrust suit until there's a change in who is leading the federal government. Each of the two major political parties skews in a different direction regarding regulations to break up monopolies.

Someone at Justice leaked the info. It's investigating Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon for anti-trust concerns. And this isn't partisan, the leak brought support from both sides of the aisle.

The chance of Anti-trust violations hitting all of these 4 companies by the end of the year probably more than 51%.

Now that Riggio can't nuke the deal, I suspect the new owner will flip it to Amazon. Then Amazon will start merging their Whole Foods locations and the B&N locations into one place. Add in an upscale bicycle shop, and it'll be a hipster magnet!

I can't tell if you're being sarcastic, but Singer tends to only sell off when there is absolutely nothing left to do. He much prefers to get things cheap, fix what's broken, and turn companies around. He's also very good at pointing out upper management screw ups. Once the sale goes through, the last thing I imagine Singer allowing Elliot to do is flip any portion of the business to any other company unless it's completely advantageous to him and he's exhausted all possibilities of turning the company around.
 
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Joe Vasicek

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2019, 03:47:00 AM »
There won't be an antitrust suit until there's a change in who is leading the federal government. Each of the two major political parties skews in a different direction regarding regulations to break up monopolies.

You haven't been paying attention.

Trump Declares War On Silicon Valley: DoJ Launches Google Anti-Monopoly Probe

Amazon Plunges Below Key Technical Support As FTC Launches Anti-Trust Probe



 
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LilyBLily

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2019, 09:41:45 AM »
There won't be an antitrust suit until there's a change in who is leading the federal government. Each of the two major political parties skews in a different direction regarding regulations to break up monopolies.

You haven't been paying attention.

Trump Declares War On Silicon Valley: DoJ Launches Google Anti-Monopoly Probe

Amazon Plunges Below Key Technical Support As FTC Launches Anti-Trust Probe





Actually, I have. However, I doubt there will be as much follow through as the headlines suggest. I also think that certain people have high-placed buddies who will do them a solid. Just call me a cynic. 

 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2019, 01:04:49 AM »
At the very least, I'm inclined to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. It would be a good step if the DOJ started trying to enforce monopoly laws as actually written, but this administration really isn't well-positioned to do that.

Trump has shown a willingness to back down if he gets enough pressure from Republican congressional leadership, particularly if there's an accompanying public outcry. If tech stocks take too much of a hit, investors and operators of potentially affected businesses like mutual funds will get nervous. Other large, non-tech companies that are taking a long view will also get nervous. Even if they aren't current targets, precedents could be set that would bite them down the road. They have a vested interest in keeping the DOJ intepreting the law the same way Reagan's DOJ did.

Trump hasn't always taken conservative positions, but he mostly has since taking office. That's part of what keeps his base happy. Much as he dislikes Bezos because of the Washington Post, is he really going to embrace a position advocated by Elizabeth Warren? At the very least, that isn't going to look good to some of his supporters--and many of his donors.

Then there's the economy. Trump's approval rating isn't great to begin with. In fact, throughout most of his administration, it's been at a historically low level. However, it isn't cratering the way approval ratings did for presidents with similar problems (like Richard Nixon). Aside from the tapes, there's actually a larger body of evidence against Trump (or at least the way his administration does business) than there was against Nixon, yet Trump's ratings are higher than Nixon's during Watergate. Partly, that's because the country is more polarized, but partly, it's also because of the perception that the economy is in good shape. (Nixon was fighting an unusual combination of inflation and recession at the same time.) Keeping in mind that the trade war with China is already having some negative effects, what happens if stock prices fall and stay down as a result of DOJ and FTC activity? What happens if other economic hiccups occur as a result, like companies postponing expansion to see what happens? Trump's approval ratings will start to drop, something he really can't afford politically. (He's already losing to Biden and Sanders in one-on-one match-ups by a decent margin and only breaking even with Democrats who have less name recognition.) At minimum, if he really wants re-election, he has to hold on to what support he has. Slowing the economy is not the way to do that.


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Bill Hiatt

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Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2019, 01:09:42 AM »
As far as Amazon buying Barnes and Noble, it could have done so long ago if it had wanted to, so I see that as an unlikely outcome.

I have mixed feelings about whether it would be a good thing or a bad thing. It would be better if BN continued to exist as a competitor to Amazon, but it would be better to have Amazon buy it than to have it disappear completely. Book stores in general aren't that plentiful. For people who like that shopping experience, having it in an Amazon-owned stored might be better than nothing. A lot of communities don't really have indie book stores, and for some of those, BN is the only alternative. It's certainly the only chain of any consequence that's left in a lot of places.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that BN under new ownership will become stronger.


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LilyBLily

 
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RPatton

Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2019, 12:14:13 PM »
New information.

On June 14: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/14/barnes-noble-did-not-get-other-bids-before-elliotts-deadline.html

The board might not sign off on it.

I also found this quote:

"Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble shares fell nearly 3% after a group of investors said the proposed deal from Elliot Management undervalues the company and that the bookseller should look for other offers." from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/14/stocks-making-the-biggest-moves-midday-broadcom-chewy-blue-apron.html


Rumor from June 11: https://goodereader.com/blog/barnes-and-noble-nook-ereader-news/barnes-and-noble-receives-second-offer-to-buy-the-company

I'm not sure how accurate this is, or what else is going on, but this is interesting.

I am finding all this interesting because I know the cut off was supposed to be the 13th, but I haven't seen/heard anything finalizing it and was curious what was going on.

Looks like Elliot and Barnes & Noble might not be a sure thing.

Anyone else get the shudders when they read Riggio considered buying back the company?

(ETA more information)
« Last Edit: June 16, 2019, 12:22:41 PM by RPatton »
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Barnes & Noble to be sold and Riggio to be out
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2019, 08:56:51 AM »
New information.

On June 14: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/14/barnes-noble-did-not-get-other-bids-before-elliotts-deadline.html

The board might not sign off on it.

I also found this quote:

"Barnes & Noble Barnes & Noble shares fell nearly 3% after a group of investors said the proposed deal from Elliot Management undervalues the company and that the bookseller should look for other offers." from https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/14/stocks-making-the-biggest-moves-midday-broadcom-chewy-blue-apron.html


Rumor from June 11: https://goodereader.com/blog/barnes-and-noble-nook-ereader-news/barnes-and-noble-receives-second-offer-to-buy-the-company

I'm not sure how accurate this is, or what else is going on, but this is interesting.

I am finding all this interesting because I know the cut off was supposed to be the 13th, but I haven't seen/heard anything finalizing it and was curious what was going on.

Looks like Elliot and Barnes & Noble might not be a sure thing.

Anyone else get the shudders when they read Riggio considered buying back the company?

(ETA more information)
If there were going to be really great offers, I think they would have emerged before now. While I understand why an investor might not like a deal that appeared to undervalue the company, the company is pretty much circling the drain. If they aren't careful, they'll end up with a much smaller offer in the end.


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