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Does a Best Buy Buyout Make Sense?

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As Best Buy tries to put its house in order, several private equity buyers may be getting ready to pounce on the retailer.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Greenlight Capital Inc. and another investment firm have been in contact with people with Best Buy ties to explore the potential for a buyout.

It's not clear, however, what benefit a private investor may derive from taking on Best Buy at this particular moment in time. It certainly won't be able to capitalize on Best Buy's real estate, as the market has plenty of vacant big-box stores at the moment.

And given the amount of competition Best Buy faces from Amazon, hhgregg, Wal-Mart, Target and others, it would likely require a major investment of capital to implement a successful retail turnaround at the chain.

Plus, according to the Star Tribune story:

A buyout would face enormous obstacles, as Best Buy would command an estimated market value of nearly $8 billion. Potential acquirers would need to borrow billions of dollars more to entice current shareholders to sell.

Further, analysts say, there's little or no chance founder and chairman Richard Schulze, who owns nearly 20 percent of the company, would ever agree to such a deal.

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Elaine Misonzhnik

Senior associate editor Elaine Misonzhnik has been writing for National Real Estate Investor since June 2006 and has covered commercial real estate for more than 12 years. She first became...
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