Best Buy rejects deal that would see founder take the company private

By on March 1, 2013, 12:00 PM

On Friday Best Buy rejected an offer from company founder Richard Schulze to take the electronics retail giant private. Schulze got the ball rolling last summer when he proposed an informal offer of $24 to $26 per share but according to a source familiar with the matter as reported by Reuters, he was unable to line up the necessary debt and equity financing through private equity sponsors.

During a recent conference call, Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly said Schulze introduced Best Buy to several impressive private equity sponsors that have shown interest in the company but at the end of the day, the cost of the investments were determined to be excessive and dilutive to existing shareholders. As a result, Best Buy decided not to accept the offers.

At one point it is believed that the proposed investment hit $1 billion. We are also hearing that three private equity firms, Cerberus Capital Management LP CBS.UL, TPG Capital TPG.UL and Leonard Green & Partners, were all seeking a seat on the company’s board.

The news seemingly ends Schulze’s attempt to take Best Buy private and ironically enough, comes on the same day that the company announced better-than-expected quarterly results. One reason for this could be the fact that Best Buy implemented a price matching policy during the holiday buying season to combat showrooming.

For the fourth quarter ending on February 2, the company’s loss narrowed to $409 million from $1.82 billion the year before. Revenue was up 0.2 percent to $16.71 billion thanks to renewed momentum in the US.

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