Barnes & Noble stays in Riggio’s hands
New York City Dissident stockholder Ron Burkle and his Yucaipa Cos. were defeated by owner Leonard Riggio and his allies on Tuesday at Barnes & Noble’s shareholders meeting.
Shareholders voted against billionaire activist investor Burkle and his dissident slate of directors. Instead, they voted for the slate backed by founder and chairman Riggio. The vote brought to a halt — at least for now — Burkle’s attempts to end Riggio’s nearly four decades of control over the nation’s largest bookstore chain.
The nation’s largest bookstore will remain in the hands of Riggio, who has led the company for more than 30 years.
Burkle, who did not attend the meeting in Manhattan, issued a statement conceding defeat before Riggio even announced the results, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an “insurmountable insider voting advantage.” Yucaipa, which owns 19% of the company, said preliminary vote tallies show none of the company nominees garnered even 50% of the vote, and blamed the 38% of shares owned Riggio, insiders and employees for the company’s victory.
Yucaipa also failed to win enough support for its proposed amendment to the company’s shareholder rights plan that would have allowed Yucaipa or any B&N holder to amass the same roughly 30% stake as Riggio, who is the company’s largest shareholder.
In a statement, Riggio said: “We are very pleased by the shareholder support we have received. The board enthusiastically welcomes David Golden and David Wilson and looks forward to working with them as we continue to execute our strategic initiatives to build shareholder value. We are also pleased that our shareholders recognize the important protections of our Rights Plan.”
Target announces literacy initiatives
MINNEAPOLIS – Target announced its plans to donate more than $500 million by the end of 2015 to support education, doubling its support to-date, for a total of more than $1 billion. The financial commitment is part of Target’s new reading initiative, Target Read With Me, aimed at helping more U.S. children read proficiently by the end of third grade, the company reported.
"Target’s ties to education run deep, but we are compelled to do more to address the education crisis in the United States and put more kids on the path to graduation so they are ready for college, a career and life. The time to act is now, and it starts by reading with a child," said Laysha Ward, president of community relations, Target. "Our reading pledge is the first of many steps Target will take to ensure our kids are globally competitive. We need every parent and caring adult to join us in creating a movement that will chart a new course in education and help our children succeed."
Target said it will encourage parents, caring adults and its more than 350,000 team members to take action by visiting Target.com/reading, where they can pledge to commit to a regular reading schedule with a child. The pledge also can be accessed via mobile Web browsing or by texting "READ" to TARGET (827438).
In addition, Target said it will donate 1 million books to mark the beginning of its Target Read With Me initiative and up to an additional 1 million books once 1 million reading pledges have been received.
Target also announced plans to launch a reading center of excellence that will have a physical and virtual presence. The physical center will be located in Target’s headquarters market of Minneapolis-St. Paul, where nearly half of third-grade students do not read at a proficient level, according to the company. The center will serve to support and share innovative solutions and best practices in reading, Target reported. The virtual aspect of Target’s reading center will ensure kids, parents and caring adults have access to interactive tools and reading resources, regardless of their location.