Liberty Bids $1 Billion to Acquire Barnes & Noble

John Malone's company wants to pay $17 a share, a 20% premium, for the chain of book stores.

Liberty Media has bid $1 billion to acquire book-store operator Barnes & Noble, the companies disclosed Thursday.

The price, $17 per share, is a 20% premium to where the stock closed Thursday, though it shot up 24% in the after-hours session to $17.50, which is above Liberty’s bid.

Like Borders, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Barnes & Noble has been struggling with its bricks-and-mortar storefronts, though its Nook e-reader is a popular device.

Liberty, controlled by John Malone, owns stakes in several businesses – Sirius XM Radio, QVC, Starz and more – but hasn’t yet delved into the retail book industry.

Liberty expects to acquire a 70% stake in Barnes & Noble that it would attribute to its Liberty Capital group. It's cash outlay for the transaction would be in the $500 million range.

"Barnes & Noble is the established leader in bookselling and is at the forefront of the transition to digital, with a management team that has demonstrated expertise in operations and positioned the company for growth in a dynamic marketplace," Liberty said.