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Best Buy founder offers to buy out company

Monday, August 6, 2012 - 10:00am

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze made a bid Monday to buy the retailer's outstanding shares, driving up the company's stock by more than 20% in premarket trading.

Schulze, a former chairman who already owns 20.1% of Best Buy's shares, has offered to buy all outstanding shares for $24 to $26 each, according to a statement.

Best Buy shares surged 23% in premarket trading to $21.79 per share, compared to the Friday close of $17.64.

Schulze said he plans to use about $1 billion on his own money in conjunction with investments from private equity firms to raise the capital, with the help of financial adviser Credit Suisse. He is also trying to get former chief executive officer Brad Anderson and former president and chief operating officer Allen Lenzmeier to rejoin the company.

Best Buy has had its fair share of problems as its bricks-and-mortar stores struggle to compete with online retailers incliuding Amazon, Apple and RadioShack, and announced back in March that it was closing 50 stores in the U.S.

Schulze stepped down as chairman in June after he was caught up in a scandal with the former CEO Brian Dunn. The company said that Dunn violated company policy by engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a female coworker.

Best Buy's board of directors said that Schulze "acted inappropriately" by not telling the board's audit committee about Dunn's relationship with the employee back in December, when he found about it.

At the time, Schulze said, "I understand and accept the findings of the Audit Committee."

Schulze had been with the company since he launched it in 1966.

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