Barnes & Noble Falls After Founder Riggio Sells Shares

Barnes & Noble Inc., the operator of more than 1,300 retail and college bookstores, fell in New York trading after Chairman Leonard Riggio said he sold 3.7 million shares of the company he founded.

Riggio said in a statement that the sale is part of his long-term financial planning and that he doesn’t intend to sell additional shares this calendar year. He said his holdings now represent about 20 percent of the retailer’s common stock outstanding. New York-based Barnes & Noble fell 12 percent to $16.37 at the close in New York.

“I remain the company’s largest shareholder, a position I feel very good about,” Riggio, 73, said in the statement. “I love this company and I believe in its future.”

Chief Executive Officer Mike Huseby is looking to further narrow losses on the company’s Nook tablet division, while other units like the retail stores remain profitable. Huseby said in February that the board would consider share buybacks this year and also is discussing whether to separate its digital or college businesses from its retail stores.

Barnes & Noble also said in February it isn’t considering a $22-a-share takeover proposal New York-based G Asset Management LLC made to the company that month.

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