The board stated Wednesday it had appointed a particular committee to evaluate affords. One got here from longtime Barnes & Noble chairman Len Riggio. He’s the corporate’s largest shareholder, controlling near 20%.

Barnes & Noble (BKS) additionally disclosed {that a} shareholder it couldn’t establish had quickly constructed up a stake within the firm. To dam a hostile takeover, Barnes & Noble’s board of administrators accredited what’s often known as a poison capsule.

The poison capsule will kick in if the unidentified celebration accumulates 20% of the inventory or extra. At that time, shareholders will probably be allowed to purchase Barnes & Noble’s inventory at a 50% low cost, diluting the worth of the shares.

The announcement comes shortly after one other investor disclosed a stake of near 7%, and stated he had held talks with Riggio about shopping for the corporate.

The board stated Riggio would vote his shares in favor of any transaction beneficial by the committee.

A possible sale is simply the newest twist within the saga of Barnes & Noble, which is trying to exchange its fifth chief government in as a few years.

The bookstore fired its most up-to-date CEO, Demos Parneros, in early July, citing unspecified violations of firm coverage. Barnes & Noble later revealed that claims of sexual harassment and bullying led to Parneros’ termination.

In August, Parneros sued his former employer in federal courtroom for defamation and for firing him with out trigger.

Barnes & Noble nonetheless has extra 600 shops and 23,000 staff. Final quarter, same-store gross sales dropped 6.1% in contrast with a 12 months in the past.

Gross sales have fallen at Barnes & Noble throughout every of the previous 4 years. New ways, corresponding to smaller retailer codecs and a kitchen idea, have struggled to win again buyers.

Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, stated in September that many of the shops “feel tired, are too large and too cluttered, and do not offer the consumer any compelling reason to visit and buy.”

He believes Barnes & Noble will shutter extra shops: “Barnes & Noble needs to slim down in order to survive.”

Barnes & Noble’s issues come as native and impartial bookstores are resurgent.

The American Booksellers Affiliation, a commerce group, reported that the variety of impartial areas rose 6% final 12 months to 2,470.