VentureBeat is reporting that Best Buy founder Richard Schulze is moving forward with a plan to take the electronics retail store chain from being publicly traded to a privately held company. Talk of taking the company private was first floated back in June of this year, but this time the founder of the company is backing it up with offers to buy up stock at a premium for shareholders.
Schulze stepped down as Best Buy’s chairman earlier this year, but he still holds 20 percent of Best Buy's stock, and is offering other shareholders $24 to $26 per share to take the company private. The offer is 34 percent higher than the stock’s closing price of $17.64 on Friday. Schulze's offer would put the value of the company at $8.5 billion.
Schulze has pledged to contribute $1 billion in equity from his own shares, with the remaining amount coming from private-equity firms with an interest in acquiring Best Buy, according to published reports. Who those equity firms are was not disclosed.
"I have been actively exploring all available options for my ownership stake," Schulze wrote in the letter to shareholders. "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."
We'll have more details on this story as they become available.