What a fascinating world we live in. While people who don’t understand the publishing business continue a steady stream of columns concluding the bookstores that sell 92 percent of trade books are done for–James Stewart because he buys from Amazon and his “hunch is that B&N never really embraced the Internet or e-books,” and Brett Arends at Marketwatch because he believes the e-book hype–the actual battle for ownership of Barnes & Noble intensifies.
Founder and chairman Len Riggio exercised almost 1 million options, paying more than $1.50 a share above market at the strike price of $16.96 (or $16.8 million in all). Converting the options allows Riggio to vote more shares in the proxy fight with Ron Burkle. (The poison pill prevents him from buying more shares on the open market.) The company said Riggio “continues to believe B&N’s stock is undervalued and this exercise of his options demonstrates his belief in the long-term strategy of the company.” Shares in the company have shown some life in the past few trading days, moving up 8 percent from Friday’s close.
WSJ on options