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Liberty Media makes $1 billion bid for Barnes & Noble

New York City -- Liberty Media Corp. has offered to buy Barnes & Noble in a deal valued at about $1 billion, which represents a 20% premium over the bookseller’s market value Thursday. Barnes & Noble said Thursday that the cash offer, which the Wall Street Journal called a “stunner,” is worth $17 a share.

The companies have yet to sign an agreement.

Liberty Media, based in Englewood, Colo., runs three publicly traded companies -- Liberty Interactive, Liberty Starz Group and Liberty Capital Group -- through which it runs home-shopping network QVC and movie channel operator Starz LLC and holds stakes in numerous other online, media and communications companies.

The offer from Liberty Media came with the condition that Barnes & Noble’s founding chairman Leonard Riggio stay with the company and continue owning its stock.

Ann Taylor tops estimates, raises view
New York City -- Ann Inc., the operator of Ann Taylor and Loft stores, posted a 21% increase in its fiscal-first-quarter earnings and raised its full-year sales estimate.

For the quarter ended April 30, Ann reported a profit of $27.3 million, up from $22.62 million in the prior-year quarter.

Sales rose almost 10% to $523.6 million, but margins slipped to 57.3%, against 59% last year. Same-store sales rose 7.8%.

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