Schulze fails in Best Buy bid as talks collapse

BEST Buy founder Richard Schulze’s plans to take over the retailer have collapsed after negotiations between the two parties broke down, the American firm said yesterday.

The electronics megastore owner, which shut its UK shops last year having launched a joint venture with Carphone Warehouse, said Schulze rejected proposals to work with Best Buy on a deal that would have led to an offer in the next two months.

Best Buy said it was willing to waive Minnesota law and provide Schulze’s team with non-public information about the company, but that Schulze “declined to participate” with measures to provide “certain protections for Best Buy and its shareholders”.

Schulze is said to have been unhappy with the timing of the deal proposed by Best Buy, which would not have seen an offer to shareholders until next year.

He said: “I am disappointed and surprised by the Best Buy board’s abrupt termination of our discussions,” adding that the proposals were “completely unacceptable in light of the fact that urgent change is needed at Best Buy and value is eroding further every day”.

Schulze, who founded Best Buy in 1966 and stepped down as chairman in May after a misconduct scandal involving then-chief executive Brian Dunn, recently made public his plans to buy the company. Best Buy said yesterday that Schulze had provided insufficient information for it to consider the deal as it stood.

Best Buy also announced that Hubert Joly is set become its new chief exec, ending a four-month search after Dunn’s departure in April. Joly, who is currently CEO of hospitality firm Carlson, will arrive in September.

Despite Schulze repeatedly declaring his plans to purchase Best Buy at between $24 and $26 a share, the share price has remained stubbornly below that level, with traders sceptical that the deal will go through.