Best Buy Founder Assembles A-Team for Buyout
Consumer electronics retailer Best Buy's (NYSE: BBY) founder Richard Schulze is assembling an executive team as he moves a step closer to a proposed buyout of the company.
On June 27, Benzinga reported that Schulze was exploring the possibility of taking the company private after he had resigned his position on the board earlier in June.
"I continue to believe in Best Buy and its future--and care deeply about its customers, employees and shareholders," Schulze said in a statement as he left. "There is an urgent need for Best Buy to reinvigorate growth by reconnecting with today's customers and building pathways to the next generation of consumers."
At the time it was believed that if Schulze does want to take over completely, he would have to pay a premium above the retailer's current market capitalization near $6.5 billion. This price could be between $9 billion and $12 billion. Schulze may face difficulties raising a sum of that size.
According to Bloomberg, J.D. Wilson, Best Buy's senior vice president of enterprise capabilities, said that Schulze "is talking to people he trusts. There is a small group he'd like to have with him in righting the ship. He is serious as a heart attack."
Wilson also said that his position is being eliminated due to Best Buy cutbacks, but that he has been approached by Schulze to join his team. Schulze has apparently also sounded out former Chief Executive Officer Brad Anderson about joining him.
Benzinga reported in mid-May that Schulze resigned his position at Best Buy after an investigation discovered that he knew about disgraced CEO Brian Dunn's inappropriate "close personal relationship" with a female employee.
"In December, when the conduct of our then-CEO was brought to my attention, I confronted him with the allegations (which he denied), told him his conduct was totally unacceptable and contrary to Best Buy's policies and everything I, and the company, stand for. I understand and accept the findings of the Audit Committee," Schulze said in a statement at the time.
But if Best Buy thought that Schulze was out of the picture, it was mistaken. It remains to be seen if Schulze and his team of top executives succeed in their mission to take the company private.
On Monday morning, Best Buy traded at about $17.90, up roughly 0.75 percent.
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