Barnes & Noble founder withdraws offer to buy company's bookstores as losses worsen

The founder and chairman of Barnes & Noble has dropped his offer to buy the US bookseller’s retail business as the company’s first quarter net loss more than doubled to $87.02m (£55.56).

Losses per basic share also increased, to $1.56 from $0.76 in the same period the year before. Sales fell 8.6 per cent to $1.33bn.

To make matters worse, chairman Leonard Riggio said he would be withdrawing his offer to buy the company’s bookstores.

While I reserve the right to pursue an offer in the future, I believe it is in the company's best interests to focus on the business at hand. Right now our priority should be to serve the more than 10 million customers who own NOOK devices, to concentrate on building our Retail business, and to accelerate the sale of NOOK products in our stores, and in the marketplace.

Revenue in the retail business fell by 9.9 per cent from the year before to $1.0bn, primarily due to a 9.1 per cent drop in comparable store sales as the company closes stores and struggles to compete in the online market.

Shares dropped nearly 12 per cent on the news.