Once a book selling giant, Barnes & Noble sold to hedge fund

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The one-time bookselling giant Barnes & Noble is being acquired by a hedge fund for $476 million.

The national chain that many blamed for the demise of independent bookstores has been ravaged by Amazon.com and other online sellers. Independent bookstores have also persisted in the face of digital publishing.

The company said in October that it might put itself up for sale after it was approached by a number of potential buyers, including founder Leonard Riggio who opened Barnes & Noble stores across the country and turned it into a superstore.

Barnes & Noble said Friday that it’s being acquired by Elliott Management for $6.50 per share, an approximately 9% percent premium to the company’s Thursday closing stock price. Elliott bought the U.K. bookseller Waterstones in June 2018.

Waterstones CEO James Daunt will also take on the role of CEO at Barnes & Noble.

The sale, valued at about $683 million including debt, is targeted to close in the third quarter if approved by regulators and shareholders.

Shares of the New York company jumped 11% before the opening bell.

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