Best Buy opens door to founder's bids

Aug. 27, 2012 at 3:41 PM
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MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- The board of U.S. retail giant Best Buy said it had agreed to give founder Richard Schulze permission to pursue a bid to take control of the company.

The board and Schulze had agreed on an orderly process for the former chairman to have access to company information and bid on the company along with "private equity sponsors," Best Buy said in a statement.

Schulze was forced to resign in May after it was learned he did not inform the board of an inappropriate relationship between former Chief Executive Officer Brian Dunn and a female employee.

The company, however, is struggling to stay afloat due to changes in the market that put the store in a position to be an expensive pseudo showroom for Internet firms.

While Best Buy pays high rents, electric bills and labor costs, customers with more and more frequency are walking into its stores to view merchandise up close. Then they use the Internet, accessible through smart phones, to find better prices at and other Internet firms that have much lower overhead costs.

Schulze's deal is a step-by-step agreement on a possible takeover. He is to be granted immediate due diligence access to private company information with an opportunity to present a bid within 60 days.

If the board turns down the offer, Schulze has agreed not to present another offer until January 2013.

The board has agreed to respond to a second offer within 30 days before Schulze has an opportunity to take an offer directly to shareholders in either a special meeting or the company's annual shareholder gathering.

If the second bid fails, Schulze has agreed wait a year before presenting a third offer to the board.

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