Liberty Media Corp. says it is cutting its stake in Barnes & Noble Corp., sending the bookseller's shares down sharply.
The investment company controlled by billionaire investor John Malone gave Barnes & Noble, the largest specialty bookstore chain, a life line in 2011 when it bought a 17 percent stake in the company.
But now Liberty says it is selling the majority of its shares to institutional buyers. It will keep 10 percent of its original investment and lose its two board seats.
Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio says the reduced stake gives his company more flexibility to pursue strategic options.
Shares fell $2.13, or 9.62 percent, to $19.98 in morning trading Thursday. The stock had been up 48 percent this year.