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Best Buy Modifies Agreement

Zacks Equity Research

Best Buy Company Inc. (BBY) has modified its earlier agreement with the company’s founder and former chairman, Richard Schulze. The company stated that it has agreed to extend the offer deadline for Schulze, thereby providing him ample time to pursue his plan of buying the beleaguered retail chain.

With the amendment, Schulze will now have the chance to propose his offer on or after February 1, 2013through February 28, 2013. Moreover, the company stated that it would evaluate and decide upon the offer within 30 days. 

Earlier in August, Best Buy agreed to open its financial statements to Richard Schulze. As per the agreement, Mr. Schulze would have access to certain due diligence information and alongside would be allowed to form an investment group with private equity sponsors in order to take the company private.  Further, he will receive two board seats for possessing 20.1% ownership stake in the company. 

In June, Richard Schulze, stepped down from his position after serving for almost four decades in the company. Prior to that, Best Buy’s CEO, Brian Dunn, resigned abruptly, following an internal probe regarding his improper relationship with a female employee.

Best Buy has long been struggling with dwindling sales in key categories including televisions, notebooks, digital imaging and gaming devices, which in turn, is taking a toll on the company’s same store sales results.

Moreover, heightened competition from online retailers like Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN), is adversely affecting its sales and profitability as online retailers are gradually encompassing new merchandise categories under their purview and offering huge discounts on products with free shipping services to attract customers.

Currently, we have a long-term Underperform recommendation on the stock. Moreover, Best Buy, which faces competition from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), holds a Zacks #5 Rank that translates into a short-term Strong Sell rating.

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