The country’s No.2 bookseller New York-based Barnes & Noble Inc. said on Tuesday that its board of directors is evaluating a sale of the company, possibly to an investment consortium including its founder Leonard Riggio.
Riggio currently holds roughly 28 percent of the company’s shares outstanding. Shares of the bookseller were down around 7 percent in Tuesday trading, but news of the possible sale sent Barnes & Noble’s stock soaring on Tuesday after market close. The company has seen its store sales decline over the past two years, but has invested heavily in online sales and its e-book reader Nook, which it released last fall following the successes of Amazon.com’s Kindle Reader. The company operates stores in all 50 U.S. states.