It’s nothing new to create a business only to sell it for millions. But the economic climate has damaged small and large companies alike, so it’s no wonder that founders who sold their company are looking on in worry – watching the worsening condition of their creations.
Some founders, however, have a trick up their sleeve that will potentially save their companies: buying it back.
Here are nine retail founders that are or were determined to retake control of their baby:
Founders: Barry Ferdinand and Jason Collins
In 2010, LMS Capital took a minority stake in the firm at a critical time during Apogee’s growth strategy. With the help of their newly-appointed non-executive director, Nigel Wray, the company’s founders recently bought back LMS Capital’s 31 per cent shareholding in a deal worth £16m – double the amount paid for the original share sale. Wray has acquired a ten per cent stake in Apogee, while each founder owns 45 per cent of the business.
2. Barnes & Nobel
Founder: Leonard Riggio
After Barnes & Noble’s reported net losses for two years and its Nook business failing to gain traction, Riggio has decided to bid for the company’s book stores, online business and other retail assets. He hopes to take the struggling retailer, which he founded more than 40 years ago, private. According to Bloomberg, the buyout will be paid for in cash and would exclude the Nook and college books businesses.
Founder: Richard Schulze
After leaving the company in 2012 not under the best circumstances – Schulze has been preparing a buyout bid for months to acquire BestBuy once more and take it private. His offer of between $24 and $26, a share that would have bought him 80 per cent of the company’s shares, failed to empress. Talks of further proposals ended in February. Instead, he will become chairman emeritus, bringing former executives back onto the board with him.
Founders: Fabian and Ferry Heilemann
The two brothers have bought back their coupon platform from Google less than 18 months after having sold it for $114m. Since its sale to the internet giant, there were repeated reports of Google getting ready to shut the company down. The brothers finally stepped in to save their creation and prevent employees from losing their jobs.