Best Buy founder offers $26 a share to buy retailer

Best Buy Co. founder Richard Schulze, who stepped down as chairman this year, has offered to take the electronics retailer private at $24 to $26 a share, Bloomberg reports. Credit Suisse Group AG, Schulze’s financial adviser, is confident it can obtain financing for an offer, according to a letter sent to the board Monday. “I have been actively exploring all available options for my ownership stake,” Schulze, 71, said in the letter. Best Buy shares surged as much as 34 percent in early trading.
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Best Buy founder 71-year-old chairman Richard Schulze has, as expected, submitted a proposal to acquire the brick-and-mortar retailer, CNET reported Monday morning.

Under the terms of the deal, Schulze, who owns about 20 percent of Best Buy already, would pay between $24 and $26 per share in cash to the company to acquire the outstanding shares he doesn't own, CNET says. If Best Buy were to accept the offer, the company would score a premium of between 36 percent and 47 percent on its Friday closing price of $17.64.

Much of the money will come from what the letter calls “premier private-equity firms with deep experience in retail who are interested in a possible acquisition of Best Buy” and debt financing, Bloomberg reports. The Richfield, Minnesota-based electronics chain had about $1.7 billion in long-term debt as of May 5, according to regulatory filings.

Schulze recently began recruiting executives for his buyout bid.

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