Best Buy going private?

Best Buy Co. may have a new owner in Founder Richard Schulze. Although he stepped down as chairman in June, he’s offered to take the retailer private at $24 to $26 a share, according to Bloomberg.

It reported that Credit Suisse Group AG, Schulze’s financial adviser, should be able to finance the offer that’s at least 36 percent more than Best Buy’s closing price Aug. 3 and gives the company an equity value of $8.5 billion.

A letter sent to the company’s board said that Schulze, who already holds more than 20 percent of the business, would contribute $1 billion in equity from that stake. The rest of the money will come from “premier private-equity firms with deep experience in retail who are interested in a possible acquisition of Best Buy,” according to the letter.

“I have been actively exploring all available options for my ownership stake,” Schulze, 71, said in the letter. “That exploration has reinforced my belief that bold and extensive changes are needed for Best Buy to return to market leadership and has led me to the conclusion that the company’s best chance for renewed success will be to implement these changes under a different ownership structure.”

Best Buy confirmed in an emailed statement to Bloomberg that it had received the letter, and the board would consider it “in due course.”


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