Barnes & Noble Inc. announced late Thursday that it had received a buyout proposal from Liberty Media Corp. in a deal valuing the bookseller at about $1 billion.
Liberty, based in Englewood, Colo., owns interests in numerous media, retail and other companies, including the Starz and QVC cable channels, the Expedia and Evite websites and the Atlanta Braves baseball team.
The company offered $17 a share in cash for Barnes & Noble, a 20% premium over the bookseller's closing stock price of $14.11 on Thursday. The news pushed up shares of Barnes & Noble as much as 24% in after-hours trading.
Barnes & Noble said in a statement that the proposal would be evaluated by a special committee of its board of directors.
The bookseller said the proposal was contingent on the participation of Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio "both in terms of his continuing equity ownership and his continuing role in management."
New York-based Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest bookseller, has struggled with sales as consumers have turned to other avenues for books, including online and discount retailers.
Since last summer it has been reviewing ways to turn around its slumping business, including a possible sale.