Barnes & Noble bought by Waterstones owner

Photo: Sean Pavone /

Waterstones owner and private investment company Elliott Management has acquired American bookstore chain Barnes & Noble. As a result, the chain will be taken off the stock market.


No more investor troubles

Elliott Management, which is owned by billionaire Paul Singer, is paying 6.5 dollars (5.7 euros) per share, increasing the chain's value up to 476 million dollars (420 million euros), debts included. The bookstore chain had been looking for a buyer since last year, hoping to get away from the American stock market. That would also mean that the chain, which has been ailing due to Amazon's intense competition, will be free of the burden of the mandatory release of quarterly figures and kept safe from the dangers of price volatility.


The acquisition puts Barnes & Noble in the same hands as British icon Waterstones, whose CEO James Daunt will also take up leadership over the new American family member: "Physical bookstores the world over face fearsome challenges from online and digital. We meet these with investment and with all the more confidence for being able to draw on the unrivalled bookselling skills of these two great companies," said Daunt. Both formulas will continue to exist side-by-side.


Ever since the rise of Amazon, Barnes & Noble has been in trouble. Turnover decreases every year, although it seems to have stabilised somewhat in recent years. The chain has over 600 stores in the United States and generates a turnover of almost 3.6 billion dollars (3.0 billion dollars).