Barnes & Noble may be close to a deal to be acquired by the owner of another bookstore chain, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.  The deal would be with hedge fund Elliot Management Corporation, which also owns U.K. book chain Waterstones.  The likely plan is for the two chains to remain separate, but to have Waterstones CEO James Daunt, who’s had success in turning around the U.K. book chain, run both.  Barnes & Noble currently operates 627 stores; Waterstones has 290.

The Journal attributed the information to "people familiar with the matter," but cautioned that no deal or a different deal may close.

Barnes & Noble had its best comp quarter in years over the holidays, but lowered guidance for 2019 (see "Barnes & Noble Lowers Guidance").