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PE-backed Best Buy bidders given until end of February to make offer

14 Dec 2012

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze has been given an extension to make his private equity-backed buyout offer for the company.

Schulze, pictured, has been given until 28 Februaryto bring his offer to the board, which will allow him to include the busy Christmas period in his due-diligence review.

The 71-year-old began due diligence on the company at the beginning of October ahead of a buyout that some analysts claimed could reach $11bn with debt.

Apollo Global Management, TPG Capital Leonard Green & Partners and Cerberus Capital Management have all been linked with Schulze’s potential buyout of the company.

A statement from the company said, “Both parties believe that allowing Mr Schulze to bring his offer after the holiday season and fiscal year end is in the best interests of shareholders and provides Mr Schulze and his potential partners with an opportunity to include the company’s full year results as part of their due diligence review.

“Accordingly, Best Buy and Mr Schulze have mutually agreed that Mr Schulze will have the opportunity to deliver the proposal to the board of directors on or after 1 February 2013 through 28 February 2013.

“The Board would, within 30 days, review and take a position on any such offer, consistent with its fiduciary duties and in the best interests of shareholders.”

In August it emerged Best Buy had restarted discussions with its former chairman following disappointing quarterly earnings.

The electronics retailer had previously offered to waiver Minnesota law to allow Schulze to work with his unnamed buyout partners and come up with a definitive proposal for the company’s outstanding shares.

Best Buy’s due diligence offer gives Schulze permission to form an investment group ahead of making a firm offer for the company.

He had previously requested to form a group to acquire Best Buy for between $24 and $26 a share, although his bid received widespread criticism when he declined to name the firms backing him.

Schulze, who owns more than 20 per cent of the company, has previously said he planned to inject at least $1bn of equity from that stake as part of the deal.

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