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Deadline arrives for Best Buy founder Schulze to submit bid

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Best Buy founder Richard Schulze, the struggling retailer’s largest shareholder, has until midnight Thursday to submit a buyout offer for the company he founded in 1966, Forbes reports.

The Star Tribune says Schulze appears to be giving up his efforts to acquire the company. A source told the newspaper that he is trying to return to his former position as chairman of the board.

The Richfield-based consumer electronics giant extended Schulze's timeline in December so he could look at the holiday sales.

Best Buy Co. Inc. originally planned to release full fourth-quarter figures on Thursday, but abruptly decided Tuesday to delay the financial results until Friday to give Schulze the full day to review his plans.

“Our decision to move our earnings call to before the market opens on Friday, March 1, was solely to allow for the expiration of the period of time Mr. Schulze has to respond to the company,” spokeswoman Amy von Walter told the Star Tribune.

However, expectations of a deal have cooled amid reports that Schulze is having trouble securing the financing for a bid -- which could be as high as $11 billion.

Schulze stepped down as chairman last spring after an internal investigation found he did not tell the board about allegations that then-CEO Brian Dunn was having an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.

Schulze left the company in June to pursue his efforts to acquire the retailer.

CEO Hubert Joly succeed Mike Mikan, who has served as interim CEO after Dunn abruptly resigned in April.

The company's stock price has jumped more than 40 percent in the first two months of 2013 after struggling much of last year.

Earlier this week, Best Buy announced it was slashing 400 jobs from its corporate headquarters in an effort to save $150 million.

Click here, to follow Best Buy's stock performance.

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