Sources tell Best Buy’s hometown paper the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that discussions are “going very well,” and Schulze, who still owns a 20% stake in the company and has committed $1 billion of his own money to the buy-back, remains “highly confident” he and his equity financing partners can find enough money in their couches.
In August, shortly before Joly took over the reins, Schulze and his team were given 60 days to present an official buyout offer to the Best Buy board. But the Star-Tribune’s sources say the company didn’t make good on its agreement to open up its books to the potential buyers until mid-September.
Schulze, who stepped down from his position of Chairman of the Board following the sudden removal of former CEO Brian “The Dishes Are” Dunn in April, reportedly wants to take back the business he founded because he opposes the current leadership’s plans to close stores and shrink the chain’s bricks-and-mortar profile. Instead, Schulze would focus on keeping retail prices low while also cutting expenses.
It’s a plan that could work, if executed correctly and given enough time. It’s also one that any board would have a difficult time convincing shareholders to stick with.
The big question is whether Best Buy, which has seen its market share shrink amid growing competition from online retailers, can return to form regardless of who owns the company.
Founder’s bid for Best Buy is still on track [StarTribune.com]