BUSINESS
08/16/2012 08:41 am ET Updated Oct 16, 2012

Founder Richard Schulze To Best Buy: 'I Am Not Going Away'

By Dhanya Skariachan

NEW YORK, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Best Buy founder Richard Schulze on Thursday repeated his call for the consumer electronics chain's board to grant him access to the financial information he needs to secure financing for a bid for the retailer.

"I am deeply concerned about the direction of the company and, as Best Buy`s largest shareholder, I cannot simply stand aside," Schulze said in an Aug. 16 letter to the board. "I still hope to work with the board on a mutually beneficial transaction - but you should know that I am not going away."

The news came just days after sources told Reuters that several private equity firms that have been approached to join in a buyout of Best Buy are sitting on the fence, citing the lack of a tangible plan by Schulze, and doubts about his ability to pull off the deal. {ID: nL2E8J88NY]

Earlier this month, the 71-year-old Schulze expressed an interest in buying the struggling retailer for $8.16 billion to $8.84 billion, or $24 to $26 a share. Including the assumption of Best Buy's debt, the total value would be $10.9 billion, making it the year's biggest leveraged buyout so far.

"You can easily test how real my proposal is by granting me permission to form a group and by providing basic due diligence information necessary to present a fully financed offer," Schulze said in a letter to the board of the world's largest consumer electronics chain.

The unsolicited proposal comes at a time when the company Schulze founded in 1966 is struggling to compete with online and discount rivals, and tackle its own unwieldy size.