Barnes & Noble founder and chairman Len Riggio announced Thursday morning that he had sold 3.7 million shares of B&N stock. While the sale drops Riggio’s stake in the company to about 20%, he remains B&N’s largest shareholder.
The sale, however, does decrease the chances that Riggio will mount an effort to take B&N’s stores private, a move that has been speculated about and gained some momentum earlier this month when Liberty Media sold most of its holdings in the company. At the time of the filing of B&N's most recent proxy statement in July Riggio had a 30% share of the company. In December, Riggio sold 2 million shares, which dropped his stake to approximately 26%.
B&N said the sale of shares is part of Riggio’s long-term financial and estate planning and that he has no plans to sell more shares in the calendar year. In a statement, Riggio said, “after this sale I remain the company’s largest shareholder, a position I feel very good about. I love this company and I believe in its future as I do in all of the wonderful people who work here.”