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Barnes & Noble fends off dissident shareholder

By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The bookseller Barnes & Noble said on Tuesday that shareholders rejected a bid by dissident investor Ronald Burkle to expand his ownership of the bookseller.

Barnes & Noble (BKS, Fortune 500) said the preliminary results showed that shareholders voted down an attempt by Burkle's investment firm, The Yucaipa Companies, to overturn a so-called poison pill, which caps Yucaipa's ability to own more stock in the company.

"We are pleased by the shareholder support we received," said Leonard Riggio, who was re-elected as board chairman and who owns more than one-third of the company's stock.

Yucaipa spokesman Frank Quintero said that its 19% share of Barnes & Noble stock makes it difficult to take on Riggio, who owns a 36% share. But he said that the majority of outstanding stockholders voted in favor of Yucaipa.

Yucaipa founder and chairman Burkle said, in a press release, that he wanted "to thank the independent stockholders who supported us by more than a wide margin."

He also said "it is nearly impossible to do something Leonard Riggio doesn't want to do because of his built-in voting advantage."  To top of page

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