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Barnes & Noble, Inc. Message Board

  • longbarnesnobles longbarnesnobles Nov 4, 1998 4:09 PM Flag

    BKS to buy amazon's main supplier??

    there are rumors circulating on

    Herb on TheStreet: *Special* Is Barnes & Noble
    About to Buy Ingram Books?

    By Herb
    Senior Columnist
    11/4/98 3:07 PM ET

    Here's one: What would you say if I told you that Barnes
    & Noble (BKS:NYSE) is actively involved in
    negotiations to buy privately held Ingram Books, the country's
    largest book distributor, which also happens to supply with the majority of its books?

    normally reliable source who is familiar with
    situation but not an insider says such a deal, priced at
    between $500 million to $700 million, is imminent. If it
    does occur, Amazon would wind up buying many of its
    books from, of all places, archrival Barnes & Noble.

    In its 10-K, Amazon discloses that it also buys
    books from Baker & Taylor. But Ingram is the
    single-largest supplier,
    accounting for 58% and 59% of the
    company's inventory purchases in 1997 and 1996,

    To avoid antitrust issues, according to
    this column's
    source, Barnes & Noble through Ingram
    would continue supplying books to Amazon.

    a deal, which this source says has been in the
    works in some form for months, would be just the latest
    in the rapidly evolving and competitive world of
    online bookselling.
    For months, Barnes & Noble has
    been trying to close the gap between itself and Amazon
    with its own online book operation. Bertelsmann
    recently paid $200 million for a 50% stake in and, prior to that, was in talks to buy Amazon.
    In fact, this column's source says Amazon did bid
    for part of Ingram not long ago.

    Books is part of Ingram Industries, a privately held
    company run by the Ingram family. Ingram Micro(IM:NYSE),
    the electronics distribution company, was part of the
    company until late 1996, when it was spun off to the

    A spokeswoman for Barnes & Noble hasn't
    yet returned my two calls, though the company is
    expected to make a statement later today. Officials of
    Ingram Books couldn't be reached. And I'm still waiting
    to hear from the Amazon spokeswoman with a comment.

    Herb Greenberg writes daily for In
    keeping with the editorial policy of TSC, he does not own
    or short individual stocks. He also does not invest
    in hedge funds
    or any other private investment
    partnership. He welcome your feedback at
    Greenberg writes a monthly column for Fortune magazine and
    provides daily commentary for CNBC
    � 1998, All Rights Reserved.

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