Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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Barnes and Noble sold to hedge fund

Depending on the circumstances at hand, selling a business can either be relatively straightforward or extraordinarily difficult. The business's potential market value and its assets and debts must be carefully analyzed before engaging in and completing purchase negotiations. This process can take some time and expertise, which is why it is usually best to work with a qualified attorney when dealing with these matters.

Bookseller Barnes and Noble recently did just that. In a deal worth more than $600 million, the board of Barnes and Noble elected to sell the company in an all-cash deal to a hedge fund called Elliott Advisers. The man now tasked with running the bookseller has his work cut out for him, especially given the prominence of online retailers that have threatened to end Barnes & Noble and other booksellers.

Yet, this particular businessman is experienced not only in running bookstores, but also in turning them around. He has taken the reigns of once struggling English bookseller Waterstones, which was on hard times but now is seeing significant profit margins that keep it a major player in its industry. Part of his strategy is to allow each individual store, despite being part of a larger chain, to customize its approach to book sales so that it fits in with its particular market. Therefore, more rural Barnes & Nobles would look much different from urban ones.

Again, there are a lot of things that need to be considered before selling a business. Those who rush haphazardly through the process can find themselves taken advantage of financially. To avoid the potential for these losses and ensure a smooth transaction, businesses should think about working closely with a skilled legal professional.

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Dale M. Maas, Attorney at Law
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