Best Buy founder considers buyout

Best Buy chairman and founder Richard Schulze, which holds 20.1 per cent stake in Minnesota-based retailer Best Buy is considering selling his stake.

In a press release, Schulze said he continues to believe in Best Buy and its future and cares deeply about its customers, employees and shareholders. He added that 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.

Best Buy’s profits are plummeting and it is shuttering stores as it tries to stave off the downturn in electrical goods margins and the trend by consumers to buy movies and music digitally online.

“I have shared my views with the board and today informed them of my decision to resign as chairman and a director, effective immediately, in order to explore all available options for my ownership stake,” said Schulze.

Schulze, 71, served as Best Buy’s CEO, chairman and a director for 36 years until 2002. He has continued as chairman and a director since 2002 and controls approximately 20.1 per cent of Best Buy shares. He resigned on June 7.

A person familiar with the matter said Schulze is working with Credit Suisse Group AG regarding his plan.

Some analysts say a buyout is unlikely for Best Buy as it will require at least US$30 per share in order to convince shareholders to sell.

Best Buy reported a revenue loss of US$1.23 billion in the year ended in March, prompting the retailer to shut down 50 big box stores in the US to reduce operating costs.

GB

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