MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Now that he’s resigned from the board of directors, there’s speculation that Richard Schulze may try to take Best Buy private.

In his resignation statement, the 71-year-old billionaire said he still cares deeply about the company he founded more than three decades ago and said he wanted to explore options for his ownership stake.

One possible translation for that statement: Schulze may want to take the company private.

Hamline marketing professor Jeffrey Rich says it would take a lot of money.

“The belief is that he can raise about $12 billion dollars — which would require about $30 a share buyouts — to assume the percentage of control that he would need to take the company private,” said Rich.

Going private would allow Schulze and partners to focus on long-term growth without pressure from shareholders.

In any case, Rich says Best Buy’s immediate challenge is to deal with competition from other retailers like Target and Wal-Mart as well as online sellers of consumer electronics.

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