Best Buy talks end, source says; adjusted profit falls

NEW YORK, Fri Mar 1, 2013 — Best Buy Co. and founder Richard Schulze have ended their talks after Schulze and private equity investors sought three board seats in exchange for taking a minority stake in the company, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

Separately, the world’s largest consumer electronics chain posted quarterly results. Best Buy lost $409 million, or $1.21 per share, in the fourth quarter ended February 2, compared with a loss of $1.82 billion, or $5.17 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, earnings from continuing operations fell to $1.64 per share from $2.18 a year earlier.

Revenue rose just 0.2 percent to $16.71 billion.

Schulze, who had made an informal proposal to buy Best Buy for $24 to $26 a share last August, failed to line up necessary debt and equity financing, the source said.

The founder’s efforts to negotiate a deal with private equity firms Cerberus Capital Management, TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners have also come to an end, the source said.