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面对亚马逊的进攻,这家实体书店一直在苦苦支撑

处于困境中的全球最大书店连锁又找到了新买家。

埃利奥特(Elliott Management Corp.)在上周五的声明中表示,公司已经同意以全现金交易的方式收购巴诺连锁书店(Barnes & Noble Inc.),按照每股6.5美元的价格,后者的估值为4.76亿美元,此外还要加上债务估值。

巴诺书店的股价在当日的早盘交易中上涨8.4%至6.46美元。自上周四埃利奥特接近达成交易的消息传出后,书店的股价已经飙升了30%。

由亿万富翁保罗·辛格经营的埃利奥特之前已经涉猎过图书行业。去年,公司收购了英国的图书零售商Waterstones。Waterstones的首席执行官詹姆斯·当特也将成为巴诺书店的首席执行官。埃利奥特会让两家书店独立运营,不过两个品牌会“共用一位首席执行官,并在两家公司互相取长补短的过程中受益。”

公司表示,加上债务,这次并购的估值为6.83亿美元。

拥有超过600家门店的巴诺书店尝试过出售食品和咖啡、销售非图书商品等策略,但依旧无法阻止亚马逊(Amazon.com Inc.)的步步紧逼。在此过程中,公司还自断手臂,遭遇了内部风波。它对亚马逊Fire平板电脑的竞争对手Nook电子书的大笔投资最终一败涂地。

不过,面对亚马逊的无情竞争,巴诺书店在过去几年里还是设法让自己的业务站稳了脚跟,去年书店收入的下滑幅度减少到了3.1%。它仍然有营收能力,去年的销售额高达近36亿美元,而稍有些夸张的债务直到2023年才到偿付期限。公司过去几年里也在关闭表现疲软的门店,或把它们迁到更好的地段。

当特在声明中表示:“世界上的实体书店都面临着网络和数字领域的可怕竞争。我们将以投资和更强大的信心来应对它们,因为我们现在有这两家伟大公司无与伦比的图书销售技巧作为凭依。”

声明中指出,公司最大的股东、董事长伦纳德·瑞吉欧已经达成了支持交易的投票协议。早在去年10月,巴诺书店就表示在考虑将自身出售给几家感兴趣的买家,其中就包括瑞吉欧。瑞吉欧曾经表示过收购兴趣,不过随后退出。(财富中文网)

译者:严匡正

Elliott Management Corp. agreed to purchase the chain for $6.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued about $476 million, plus the assumption of debt, the company said in a statement last Friday.

Barnes & Noble shares rose 8.4% to $6.46 in early trading. They had surged 30% on last Thursday on news that Elliott was close to a deal.

Elliott, run by the billionaire Paul Singer, has experience in the book business. It acquired Waterstones, a U.K. book retailer, last year. James Daunt, chief executive officer of Waterstones, will also become CEO of Barnes & Noble. Elliott will keep the chains operating independently but the brands will “share a common CEO and benefit from the sharing of best practice between the companies.”

Including debt, the deal is valued at $683 million, according to the companies.

Barnes & Noble, with more than 600 stores, has tried strategies such as offering food and coffee and selling non-book merchandise, but has failed to stem the onslaught of Amazon.com Inc. Along the way, it’s weathered self-inflicted wounds and internal drama. A big investment in its Nook e-book device — a competitor for Amazon’s Fire tablets — was ultimately a bust.

Despite the relentless competition from Amazon, Barnes & Noble has managed to somewhat stabilize its business over the past few years, with revenue declines narrowing to a drop of 3.1% last year. The retailer still generates cash — sales were almost $3.6 billion last year — and the little outstanding debt on its balance sheet isn’t due until 2023. The company has also spent the past few years closing weak stores or moving them to better locations.

“Physical bookstores the world over face fearsome challenges from online and digital,” Daunt said in a statement. “We meet these with investment and with all the more confidence for being able to draw on the unrivaled bookselling skills of these two great companies.”

Chairman Leonard Riggio, the company’s largest shareholder, has entered into a voting agreement in support of the transaction, according to the statement. In October, the company said it was considering a sale to several interested parties, including Riggio. Riggio had previously expressed interest in buying Barnes & Noble but later withdrew.

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