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Old 04-03-2014, 10:10 AM   #1
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Liberty Media to Sell Most of Its Stake in Barnes & Noble

Nearly three years ago, Liberty Media wanted to buy all of Barnes & Noble, before settling for a big stake. Now it appears that the media conglomerate has had enough.

Liberty announced on Thursday that it would divest the vast majority of its stake in the struggling bookseller through private sales of its holdings. Liberty Media took a 17 percent stake in Barnes & Noble for $204 million in 2011. After the latest move, Liberty will have just under a 2 percent stake.

http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/04/...-barnes-noble/
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:11 AM   #2
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Doubt this stock will ever go above $22 again if John Malone is getting out now. Perhaps, it just removes a roadblock to taking the company private?

I think I predicted B&N would be out of business within 5 years like 3 or 4 years ago. I was probably too pessimistic....they will probably be in business longer under its current structure (that is, still operating many large physical book stores under its brand).

Last edited by markbot; 04-03-2014 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 04-03-2014, 12:38 PM   #3
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Maybe Liberty Media needed cash to buy the Braves another washed-up relief pitcher.

But seriously, the B&N college bookstores have a very sweet niche. Not only do they provide those exorbitantly priced textbooks, but they're also making a killing on college sports-team apparel. Not to mention the dorm room staples, from lamps to trash cans. Talk about your captive audience!

If B&N can manage the transition to digital textbooks, they will have a bottomless gold mine. This must be what has Microsoft interested.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:56 PM   #4
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Maybe Liberty Media needed cash to buy the Braves another washed-up relief pitcher.

But seriously, the B&N college bookstores have a very sweet niche. Not only do they provide those exorbitantly priced textbooks, but they're also making a killing on college sports-team apparel. Not to mention the dorm room staples, from lamps to trash cans. Talk about your captive audience!

If B&N can manage the transition to digital textbooks, they will have a bottomless gold mine. This must be what has Microsoft interested.
Good points.
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Old 04-03-2014, 03:29 PM   #5
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The college book stores are certainly not going out of business any time soon...as they sell those class required photocopied news article packs for $150 a pop (like $120 gross profit per unit). However, you can buy most of the textbooks at 70% the price on Amazon, new,....and like 30% the price used. The other B&N stores are going out of business soon. The only reason they are still in business at all is that Borders closed down a few years ago and removed their chief competitor.
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Old 04-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #6
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The college book stores are certainly not going out of business any time soon...as they sell those class required photocopied news article packs for $150 a pop (like $120 gross profit per unit). However, you can buy most of the textbooks at 70% the price on Amazon, new,....and like 30% the price used. The other B&N stores are going out of business soon. The only reason they are still in business at all is that Borders closed down a few years ago and removed their chief competitor.
There is a trend towards universities moving to digital textbooks and bundling the textbooks into the tuition. If it continues, it will turn the college textbook business, like the K-12 market, into an institutional volume purchase business where the institution gets deep discounts on volume and the publishers get to kill the used textbook business.
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Old 04-04-2014, 12:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calenorn View Post
Maybe Liberty Media needed cash to buy the Braves another washed-up relief pitcher.

But seriously, the B&N college bookstores have a very sweet niche. Not only do they provide those exorbitantly priced textbooks, but they're also making a killing on college sports-team apparel. Not to mention the dorm room staples, from lamps to trash cans. Talk about your captive audience!

If B&N can manage the transition to digital textbooks, they will have a bottomless gold mine. This must be what has Microsoft interested.
Don't forget some of the other things like graduation attire. Small, I know, but when you graduate you have to get it from the college bookstore. I had to do it when I graduated undergrad and I recently drove an hour to Detroit to get a cheap polyester cap, gown, and "hood" for $89.06 for my graduate degree graduation from the college bookstore. I seriously wasn't happy about that but it's the rule. I wonder how much B&N makes from that (especially considering that some universities have fall and spring graduation ceremonies).
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Old 04-06-2014, 06:31 PM   #8
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There is a trend towards universities moving to digital textbooks and bundling the textbooks into the tuition. If it continues, it will turn the college textbook business, like the K-12 market, into an institutional volume purchase business where the institution gets deep discounts on volume and the publishers get to kill the used textbook business.
Which is why k-12 schools, districts, and states need to start making open curriculum and textbooks. Pretty soon, they be paying through the nose for digital books but won't be able to afford teachers.

It costs about $2M per subject/grade to make curriculum and textbooks. If we start now, we could save tons and hire more teachers. Starting at kindergarten wouldn't be horribly hard.
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