Shareholders of Borders Group (BGP), including Bill Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management and BGP Holdings, said in a regulatory filing Monday they are willing to finance a takeover bid for rival bookseller Barnes & Noble (BKS) at $16 a share in cash.

The bid is a 20.5% premium to Barnes & Noble's Friday close of $13.28. The offer price puts a total value of Barnes & Noble at about $963.2 million.

Ackman, an activist investor who tends to take large stakes in a few companies, also reported he owns a 37.3% stake in Borders, up from 31% as of May. Pershing added that it would be prepared to finance, on mutually acceptable terms, an offer for mixed stock and cash consideration.

Both booksellers have struggled, competing with discounters and online retailers such as Amazon (AMZN). Last month, Barnes & Noble reported yet another loss -- albeit it narrower than last year's -- of $12.6 million, or 22 cents a share. As DailyFinance's Sarah Weinman writes: "The company has been through proxy fights and poison pills, has been put up for sale . . . and has seen further erosion in the chain bookstore business model." Borders also saw a sharp decline in sales and traffic.

Barnes & Noble shares dropped 30% this year as of Friday's close. In premarket trading BKS shares jumped over 19%. Borders shares fell some 8.5% as of Friday's close. In premarket trading BGP shares jumped over 16%.

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doehereone

What a joke, he did it just to raise the Borders stock price before the earnings announcement that will be so bad that it would delist the stock. Never in a million years Barnes & Noble will agree to be taken over by this zombie company which has been on a brink of bankruptcy for years. B&N already has 8-10 offers from private investment companies all over the place. Again, what a joke.

December 06 2010 at 2:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Richard

WOW ! good for Borders you only need one book seller, and Borders should be the one. Barnes take the deal, it looks like no one else wants you.

December 06 2010 at 12:47 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply