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Best Buy talks back on after Schulze granted due diligence

28 Aug 2012

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze has been granted due diligence for his planned private equity-backed takeover of the company days after talks broke down.

The decision by Best Buy to open its financial data to Schulze opens the door for him to approach the buyout giants he will need to support his proposed take-private deal, which is expected to come in around the $9.5bn mark.

The 73-year-old’s bid to reacquire the business he set up in 1966 just over a week ago after he rejected a due diligence offer from the company.

Last week 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, said he planned to inject at least $1bn of equity from that stake as part of the deal.

The terms of the due diligence allow Schulze to bring forward a full-financed proposal within 60 days, with the option of approaching shareholders next January if that bid is rejected by the board.

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