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Best Buy founder looks to make retailer private once more

Richard Schulze proposes share buyout to board of troubled chain

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze has approached the board of the retail chain with a proposal to buy up all of the company's shares and return it to private operation.

Schulze currently owns 20 per cent of the stock in the $50 billion a year business and is looking to finance the buy out with personal investment of $1 billion, private equity funding and debt financing via Credit Suisse, the Financial Times reports.

Schulze has claimed that "Immediate and substantial changes are needed for the company to return to its market-leading ways."

The deal would put the company's value at somewhere around the $9 billion mark, but even the preliminary offer has already adversely affected the company's credit rating, with Standard and Poor dropping the chain from a double B plus to a triple B minus grading, wary of the extra debt which the purchase would land on the company's books.

Best Buy, along with many other traditional brick and mortar stores, has struggled to retain its business in the face of continual assault from online retailers.

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