April 4, 2014 Last Updated 9:30 am

Liberty Media will sell its stake in Barnes & Noble, driving down shares of the book retailer

The book retailer Barnes & Noble lost a major backer yesterday when Liberty Media informed the company that it would be selling a large chuck of its shares in the company. Liberty Media will retain about 10 percent of its original investment in B&N stock.

“By reducing our preferred position and eliminating some of our related rights, Barnes & Noble will gain greater flexibility to accomplish their strategic objectives,” said Greg Maffei, President and Chief Executive Officer, Liberty Media. “We look forward to maintaining our relationship with the Company and are pleased that Mark Carleton will continue serving on the board. Mike Huseby and his team are doing a great job in the retail, college and NOOK® spaces.”

The news hit the stock hard, with shares falling from above $22 a share to $19.12, a drop of over 13 percent on the day. Trading on Friday saw the stock fall further, though more moderately to $18.83 a share in morning trading.

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