Pro: If it ain't broke, then don't fix it. Plus he can always try to buy the company again next year.
Con: After dragging Best Buy through months of uncertainty and spending lots of money on lawyers, investment bankers and public relations officials, Schulze loses lots of credibility for failing to act.
Probability: Low. Despite Best Buy's improved health, a source close to Schulze insists he will do something this week, if not make an outright buyout bid. "We're in the final throes," the source said. "It's all going to happen." What exactly "it" means is far from clear.
SCENARIO 4: Schulze sells, leaves company.
Unable to buy the company and frustrated with its leadership, Schulze decides to sell off his stake and departs. Schulze already "drew that line in the sand" when he quit the board last summer, said Michael Pachter, an analyst with Wedbush Securities. In other words: If you don't agree with me, then I will leave.
Pro: No more stress and conflict. Plus Schulze can claim a degree of credit for helping to right Best Buy, David Strasser of Janney Capital said. Without his agitation, would Best Buy be in the improved situation it enjoys today? Schulze's departure will also allow Joly to act with a free hand.
Con: No one knows Best Buy better than its founder. The company will lose the insight and experience of a man who almost single-handedly built a retail empire.
Probability: Next to zero. Who are we kidding? Schulze will be forever attached to his baby.
SCENARIO 5: Sides agree to another extension.
The company and Schulze already extended the deadline twice, so why not a third time?
Pro: An extension could be advantageous because Schulze and the private equity groups could get better terms for a deal to buy the company.
Con: Does anyone really want to see this saga drag on for several more months? Investors could get tired of the uncertainty and dump the stock.
Probability: Low. If Schulze can't seal the deal now, he probably never will. An extra few months won't really change anything.
BEST BUY TIMELINE:
-March 2012: Best Buy announces plans to close 50 superstores and lay off several hundred employees.
-April: S&P puts Best Buy's corporate credit rating on watch, in line for possible downgrade to "junk" status.
-April 10: Best Buy CEO Brian Dunn abruptly resigns. The company acknowledges it has initiated an investigation of Dunn; Best Buy director G. "Mike" Mikan is named interim CEO.
-May 16: Best Buy board releases results of investigation, says board chairman and company founder, Richard Schulze, failed to alert full board to allegations against Dunn.
-June 7: Schulze resigns early from board of directors to explore his options; board member Hatim Tyabji is named chairman.
-July 31: Star Tribune confirms that Schulze has recruited former Best Buy CEO Brad Anderson and former President and COO Allen Lenzmeier to join his takeover team.
-Aug. 6: Schulze submits a preliminary takeover proposal to Best Buy's board. He suggests an offer of $24 to $26 a share.
-Aug. 20: Best Buy announces it has hired Hubert Joly from Carlson as CEO.
-Oct. 10: Joly agrees to let Schulze interview Best Buy executives.
-Nov. 21: Joly and Schulze's team meet to share their points of view about the company in a substantial way.
-Dec. 14: Best Buy and Schulze agree to push back a Dec. 16 deadline for Schulze to make an offer to buy the company, leading some analysts to speculate that Best Buy is more willing to make a deal.
-Dec. 31: Best Buy Co. announces that directors Mikan and Matthew Paull are stepping down from their leadership roles with the company.
-Jan. 11, 2013: Sales at Best Buy stores open for at least a year in December were flat compared with the same month in 2011. The performance is viewed as a victory for Best Buy, considering the fierce competition from Wal-Mart and Amazon over the holidays.
-Tuesday: Best Buy announces it will cut 400 jobs at its Richfield, Minn., headquarters. Stock closes at $16.46, up 35 percent since Dec. 12.
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