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Barnes & Noble stays in Riggio’s hands


New York City Dissident stockholder Ron Burkle and his Yucaipa Cos. were defeated by owner Leonard Riggio and his allies on Tuesday at Barnes & Noble’s shareholders meeting.

Shareholders voted against billionaire activist investor Burkle and his dissident slate of directors. Instead, they voted for the slate backed by founder and chairman Riggio. The vote brought to a halt -- at least for now -- Burkle’s attempts to end Riggio's nearly four decades of control over the nation's largest bookstore chain.

The nation's largest bookstore will remain in the hands of Riggio, who has led the company for more than 30 years.

Burkle, who did not attend the meeting in Manhattan, issued a statement conceding defeat before Riggio even announced the results, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an "insurmountable insider voting advantage." Yucaipa, which owns 19% of the company, said preliminary vote tallies show none of the company nominees garnered even 50% of the vote, and blamed the 38% of shares owned Riggio, insiders and employees for the company's victory.

Yucaipa also failed to win enough support for its proposed amendment to the company's shareholder rights plan that would have allowed Yucaipa or any B&N holder to amass the same roughly 30% stake as Riggio, who is the company’s largest shareholder.

In a statement,  Riggio said: “We are very pleased by the shareholder support we have received. The board enthusiastically welcomes David Golden and David Wilson and looks forward to working with them as we continue to execute our strategic initiatives to build shareholder value. We are also pleased that our shareholders recognize the important protections of our Rights Plan.”

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