updated 12:43 pm EDT, Mon August 6, 2012
Funds for deal to come from Richard Schulze, private equity
The founder of Best Buy has offered to buy the company for around $8.5 billion, reports say. Richard Schulze, who resigned as company chairman after ex-CEO Brian Dunn was investigated for “personal misconduct” issues, has offered to pay $24 to $26 per share for the retailer in an effort to take the company private, according to Bloomberg. Best Buy has confirmed receiving the proposal and says it will be considering it in the near future.
Schulze held over 20 percent of the company as of June, and plans to put forward $1 billion from that stake for the deal. The remainder will come from "premier private-equity firms" claimed to have a "deep experience in retail," as well as debt financing. According to Minnesota corporate law, permission from company directors is required in order to form a group for a more complete offer; this is requested in Schulze's offer letter, which has no apparent deadline set. A source close to the story elaborates that Schulze entered into negotiations for the board's permission during the last few weeks, but was unsuccessful due to the board claiming it wasn't a good time to go private. Best Buy is searching for a new CEO, and asking for three more weeks to consider the matter further.
As of May 5th, Best Buy had about $1.7 billion in debt, and is currently going through a major restructuring of its operations in order to save $800 million by the 2015 fiscal year.