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Malone Eyes Nook in 'Cheap' Barnes & Noble Bid

By REUTERS, May 20, 2011


NEW YORK (Reuters) - John Malone, the billionaire pioneer of cable television, likes a bargain, and his $17 a share bid for Barnes & Noble Inc, is already being slammed for undervaluing the largest U.S. bookstore chain.

Shares of Barnes & Noble jumped over 30 percent to $18.44 on Friday as Wall Street analysts argued the company was worth more, pointing to the growing success of the bookseller's Nook e-reader as an opportunity to be exploited by Malone's Liberty Media Corp. They said the jump also showed that investors believe other bidders are bound to come in.

Until the Liberty Media offer, the 9-month long auction process was said to be moribund. A month ago, Barnes & Noble shares had fallen as low as $8.45.