Barnes & Noble stays in Leonard Riggio’s hands


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At the Barnes & Noble shareholders meeting Monday, dissident stockholder Ron Burkle and his Yucaipa Cos. were deflected by owner Leonard Riggio and his allies. The nation’s largest bookstore will remain in the hands of Riggio, who has led the company for more than 30 years.

‘We are pleased by the shareholder support we received,’ Riggio said. The Wall Street Journal reports:


To loud applause at the company’s annual meeting, Mr. Riggio announced that he and two other company-nominated directors, David Golden and David Wilson, bested Mr. Burkle and Yucaipa’s other two nominees. ... While B&N has accused Mr. Burkle of trying to gain control without paying a premium, and questioned his investing track record and ‘personal peccadilloes,’ Mr. Burkle has argued that the Riggio family has essentially used B&N as a personal piggy bank to the detriment of other shareholders.

CNN Money reports that Burkle, who did not attend the meeting, said in a news release that ‘it is nearly impossible to do something Leonard Riggio doesn’t want to do because of his built-in voting advantage.’

All the wrestling at the top doesn’t answer the biggest questions facing Barnes & Noble. How will e-books affect the chain -- will bookstores need to maintain large stocks? Can its Nook e-reader catch up to Amazon’s Kindle? Can it avoid the fate of national record stores, which slid into bankruptcy as digital downloads rose and CD sales fell?

-- Carolyn Kellogg