Whither Best Buy as Schulze’s Deadline Nears?

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We’ll know at midnight tonight whether or not Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE: BBY) founder Richard Schulze has put together an offer for the company he once ran and from which he was chased nearly a year ago. If Schulze does not put in an offer by midnight, he must wait another year before having another go at taking over the company.

The Minneapolis StarTribune cites a “source close to the founder” as saying that Schulze may give up his bid to acquire the company and instead go after his lost chairmanship of the board of directors. The newspaper’s source also said:

There is a lot of dialogue going on with the board. The board wants [Schulze] to come back. But they don’t want him as chairman.

Schulze, who already controls 2 seats on Best Buy’s 11-member board could claim a third seat if he can persuade one of his original financing partners — Texas Pacific Capital, Leonard Greene & Partners, and Cerberus Capital Management — to come through with something less than a full takeover.

Shares of Best Buy have gained about 40% since December, making Schulze’s plan even more costly than the original $5 or $5 billion control would have cost him. Best Buy has delayed its quarterly report one day until tomorrow, which has fueled both optimism and pessimism among investors for a buyout. Shares are trading down now at about $16.44 in a 52-week range of $11.20 to $27.95.

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