Riggio Unloads B&N Stock
Barnes & Noble's chairman Leonard Riggio sold two million shares in the company for $13.81 per share, lowering his stake as largest shareholder to 26.3%, according to a filing yesterday with the SEC. Reuters reported that the sale, "coupled with a donation of 160,000 shares Riggio made to a foundation that bears his name, leaves him with some 15.75 million shares." Earlier this year, Riggio had explored the possibility of buying out B&N.
The filing described the sale as a "privately negotiated block trade" for tax purposes. The Wall Street Journal reported that Riggio realized a loss of about $40 million, but would use the losses to offset gains from other investments, adding he doesn't have "any intentions of selling more shares."
The two million shares "appear to be part of a total of about 3.3 million shares in Barnes & Noble he acquired between the summer of 2007 and spring of 2008, with the bulk bought between $26 and $32," the Journal wrote, adding: "The period of his buying coincided with aggressive acquisitions by activist hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, which accumulated a stake of 11.3% by April of 2008."
Riggio said he plans to hold on to his remaining shares: "I intend to be a big owner for a long time."