Deadline nears without bid from Best Buy founder Richard Schulze

Richard Schulze
Best Buy founder Richard Schulze has today to make a bid for the company he led for more than four decades.
MPR photo/Tom Weber

Shares of Best Buy fell one percent Thursday, as the trading day came and went with no word of a buyout offer from founder Richard Schulze.

Schulze has been trying since last summer to line up investors and lenders he would need to buy the company and take it private. He has a deadline of midnight tonight.

Recent reports that Schulze, who owns about a fifth of the retailer's stock, would just try to take a greater stake in the struggling retailer.

Best Buy layoffs
The Best Buy campus in Richfield, Minn. Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013. Best Buy this week announced it is cutting 400 jobs at its headquarters in Richfield, Minn.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Richard Painter, a securities law professor at the University of Minnesota, said if Schulze does make a bid he must disclose it under securities law.

"He's at 20 percent and if he's going to make an offer for the company, this is not a situation where that offer could remain confidential for very long," Painter said.

Best Buy and Schulze's representatives would not comment on the prospects for a late-hour bid. Schulze may have future opportunities to make an offer, but regulatory filings indicate Schulze must wait until October to make another attempt.

Retail consultant Howard Davidowitz says Schulze may have grown tired of trying to put together a bid.

"I think if he sees he can't raise money, he might want to go away. I mean if Schulze sees it is impossible to do this, he doesn't want to hurt the company," Davidowitz said. "He's a got a billion in the company. He might say, 'Well, that's it. I give up.'"

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