Ron Burkle, Chairman of the Yucaipa Investment Companies (possibly a preditor group at times), owns a 19% share of B&N and wants to get himself and two associates on the B&N board of directors…But, B&N company Chairman, Leonard Riggio, wants to stay in control by limiting Burkle’s involvement and has been campaigning shareholders to beware of Mr. Burkle, who he believes is trying to seize control of the company.
The battle for Barnes & Noble just got noisier.
In a letter to shareholders on Thursday, the board of directors of the largest brick-and-mortar bookseller raised the volume on its shouting match with Ron Burkle, chairman of Yucaipa Cos., who is engaged in a proxy fight to put himself and two associates on the Barnes & Noble board.
“Don’t be fooled by Mr. Burkle,” the letter states, and urges shareholders to “stop what we believe is Burkle’s thinly veiled attempt to seize control of Barnes & Noble.”
It asks shareholders to support the board’s nominees, company Chairman Leonard Riggio, David Golden and David Wilson.
Mr. Burkle, who has a 19% stake in the bookseller and argues that its share price has been hurt by mismanagement, has been fighting Mr. Riggio for control of the company for most of the last year. He recently lost a court fight aimed at overturning a poison pill provision that has kept his stake from going above 20%.
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