Best Buy Rises After Newspaper Says Schulze to Make Bid

Best Buy Co. (BBY), the world’s largest electronics retailer, rose the most in almost four years after the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported founder Richard Schulze will offer to take the company private by Dec. 15.

The shares climbed 16 percent to $14.12 at the close in New York, the biggest daily gain since Dec. 16, 2008. Richfield, Minnesota-based Best Buy has fallen 40 percent this year.

Schulze will submit an offer to the board before the Dec. 16 deadline, the newspaper reported, citing a person it didn’t name. The bid will be about $5 billion to $6 billion, the Star- Tribune said.

Best Buy declined to comment on the report, said Matt Furman, a company spokesman. David Reno, a spokesman for Schulze, didn’t immediately reply to telephone messages and an e-mail seeking comment.

Schulze, 71, has been working with three private-equity firms, including Cerberus Capital Management LP, on a takeover of the electronics chain, people familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg News. Schulze and his allies had pressed for a 30-day extension of their due diligence period so they could see how Best Buy performs during the holidays, a person familiar with the matter said last month.

Best Buy last month posted a $10 million loss for its fiscal third-quarter as sales at established stores fell. Chief Executive Officer Hubert Joly is working to improve customer service as customers defect to Amazon.com Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Schulze Resignation

Schulze resigned as chairman in June after an investigation found he failed to tell the board’s audit committee about allegations former Chief Executive Officer Brian Dunn was having an inappropriate relationship with an employee.

Schulze bid $24 to $26 a share for the company in August. Later that month, he reached an agreement with the company that allowed him to conduct due diligence on the retailer and present a fully financed offer within 60 days.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Burritt in Greensboro at cburritt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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