Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Barnes & Noble founder and Chairman Leonard Riggio sold two million shares of the struggling bookstore company, he revealed Wednesday.
Riggio is Barnes & Noble's largest shareholder, and the sale has lowered his stake from 30 to 26.3 percent. “I intend to be a big owner for a long time,” Mr. Riggio said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "The sale was “strictly a tax decision.”
The sale amounted to a loss between $42 and $52 million. While he had bought the shares between $35 and $40 per share, the stock price has since declined. Riggio sold shares at $13.81 on Tuesday. And the stock price rose close to 1.5 percent Wednesday mid-day as the news was released.
Tuesday's share sales were paired with a donation 160,000 shares to a foundation in Riggio's name.
The company's retail, digital and campus businesses have all been facing revenue declines this year, and its most recent earnings have disappointed Wall Street. Riggio let go of a plan to buy up more than 600 retail stores earlier this year, and the company's CEO has since stepped down. Barnes & Noble continues to restrategize its digital business compared with its brick and mortar sales.
[Wall Street Journal] [Fox Business]