the-wall-street-journal-book-distributor-readerlink-may-beat-elliotts-offer-to-buy-barnes-amp-noble

The Wall Street Journal: Book distributor Readerlink may beat Elliott’s offer to buy Barnes & Noble

Book distributor Readerlink LLC is working toward making a bid for Barnes & Noble Inc. that would top the price hedge fund Elliott Management Corp. agreed to pay for the book retailer, a person familiar with the situation said.

Barnes & Noble said Friday it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Elliott for $6.50 a share, or $475 million in cash. Including the assumption of debt, the deal is worth $683 million.

Barnes & Noble

BKS, +2.72%

  shares were trading Monday afternoon at $6.68 — above the purchase price, suggesting investors see potential for a higher offer.

According to a securities filing, the merger agreement with Elliott contains a “keep-shop” provision that specifies that if Barnes & Noble strikes a deal with a third party before 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 13, Elliott would be entitled to a payment of up to $4 million. After that date, the breakup fee would be $17.5 million in cash. If Readerlink can get financing in place, the person said Readerlink would consider making a bid sometime before the June 13 cutoff. The company may join with a financial investor, the person said.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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