In the news this week has been a call by activist investors to break up media giant McGraw-Hill into four parts, spinning off its education and media divisions, as well as the two business arms of Standard & Poor's.
Liberty Media, the media conglomerate controlled by John C. Malone, agreed on Thursday to buy a stake in Barnes & Noble for $204 million, but declined to buy the bookseller outright.
The deal would disappoint investors who had hoped that Liberty, whose investments include Starz Entertainment, the home shopping channel QVC and the Atlanta Braves baseball team, would acquire a majority stake. Liberty had offered in May to buy 70 percent of Barnes & Noble for $17 a share if the retailer’s powerful chairman, Leonard S. Riggio, who controls nearly 30 percent of the company, assented.
E-books seem to be increasingly an investment of choice. This week, a venture capital firm has invested $2 million in Zuuka Group's iStoryTime.
Apple made headlines Tuesday by passing Exxon Mobil to become the world's most valuable company in market capitalization, making a dramatic turnaround from being nearly broke years before. Now it's time to ask what company might be next in line to make a similar transformation.
At the moment, all indications point to Amazon, the company that began as an online bookseller but now is directly challenging Apple with its new Kindle Cloud Reader that bypasses Apple's App Store by offering books and other down-loadable content through the Web instead of a native iOS app.
A decade ago Austin bookseller Steve Bercu faced a Texas-sized threat to his independent store: Borders planned to build a megastore just blocks away. So he dug in his spurs and garnered community support, keeping the franchise out of his area.
As of last week the national retailer is no longer a danger as the liquidation of its remaining stores ensues. But Bercu's 40-year-old BookPeople is up against the same challenges that led to Borders' demise— steady growth of e-books and the increasing lure of Amazon and other online sellers offering discounts over brick-and-mortar pricing.
Bookstore chain Books-A-Million Inc. says its last-minute talks to buy the leases and assets of 30 Borders bookstores out of bankruptcy have fallen through.
The impending shutdown of Borders Group Inc. has spelled uncertainty for Canadian digital bookseller Kobo, whose partnership with Borders marked the chain’s too-little, too-late effort to cross over into the digital realm.
Borders was an early investor in Kobo and still holds an 11% stake in the Toronto-based company, which is also backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music Inc., Cheung Kong Holdings and others.
The Borders Group said Monday that it would liquidate, shutting down the 40-year-old bookseller after it failed to find a last-minute savior.
Though it is not a big surprise, the move will still strip the publishing industry of shelf space that is becoming increasingly scarce as brick-and-mortar stores continue to founder.
Borders said it would proceed with a proposal by the private equity firms Hilco and the Gordon Brothers Group to close down its 399 remaining stores. That liquidation plan will be presented on Thursday to the federal judge overseeing the company’s bankruptcy case.