U.S. bookstore chain Barnes & Noble (New York) has put itself up for sale. The company has formed a special committee of four independent directors to consider all options for increasing shareholder value. In addition, company founder and top shareholder Leonard Riggio says he could consider bidding for the company as part of a larger investor group.
News of the sale sent company shares up 25 percent.
The pressure on brick-and-mortar bookstores has grown over the years, with competition from online sellers, electronic readers and consumers decreasing reading habits. In June, Barnes & Noble reported a larger loss as it spent money to develop its Nook electronic reader, its answer to Amazon's Kindle and Apple's iPad, reports Reuters.
The retailer’s sales were down 3.1 percent during its most recent quarter and the company gave a tepid sales outlook for this year.
Analysts suggest an auction for Barnes & Noble could draw interest from several other quarters, including billionaire investor Ron Burkle. Burkle sought a controlling interest in Barnes & Noble earlier this year and is suing the company for blocking his efforts.
The company operates 720 stores.