Best Buy to open books to founder

MINNEAPOLIS — Best Buy Co. Inc. has struck a deal with founder Richard Schulze that will grant Schulze access to confidential financial information so he can prepare a formal offer to buy back the company.

Under terms of the agreement, the company will allow Schulze to formally form a buyout group and present an offer to the board of directors within 60 days after he first sees Best Buy's financial data. If the board rejects his offer, Schulze can't pursue an acquisition until January 2013.

But at that time, Schulze will have a chance to present a second offer to the board, which must make a decision in 30 days.

If the board still opposes the buyout, Schulze can take his offer directly to investors, either through a special shareholders meeting or the regular annual shareholders meeting.

Schulze, backed by private equity firms such as Apollo Global Management and KKR, has said he would like to offer Best Buy shareholders about $24 to $26 a share, or roughly $9 billion.

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