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Best Buy Delays Earnings Announcement As It Awaits Schulze Bid

Minneapolis — Best Buy has delayed its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings announcement until Friday.

 A company spokesman told the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal  that the 24-hour delay is intended to give former chairman Dick Schulze the full day to submit a buyout bid by the Feb. 28 deadline.

The cutoff is the third extension granted to Schulze by the board, who announced his intentions last summer to take the company private.

But according to a report by Reuters, the Best Buy’s founder has been unable to line up financing for the estimated $8 billion to $11 billion deal, and even a contingency plan to take a non-controlling stake in the company may have fallen through, five sources told the wire service.

Complicating Schulze’s efforts is the company’s rising share price, which has benefited in recent weeks from a positive holiday sales report, a permanent price-matching policy to help counter showrooming, and analysts’ endorsement of Joly’s turnaround efforts.

Best Buy confirmed yesterday that it pink-slipped 400 workers at its corporate headquarters, which together with other cost-saving measures will trim about $150 million in expenses.