Nearly nine months after bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. put itself up for auction, the lengthy process may have reached a turning point as a new offer from Liberty Media Corp is under consideration.

Liberty Media is looking to purchase a 70 percent stake in Barnes & Noble, which announced on Thursday that the offer is valued at $17 per share. The deal would therefore exceed $1 billion.

Shares of Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) were priced at $18.33 at the closing bell Friday.

John Malone, the chairman of Liberty Media, would like to deal to be a merger rather than an acquisition. The media mogul said he is prepared to put $500 million in cash toward the potential merger.

Shares of Liberty Media (NASDAQ:LINTA) were down 1.47 percent to close the week at $17.70 per share.

A Barnes & Noble board committee will evaluate Liberty Media's offer, while it is unclear whether the bookseller deems the offer worthy of extended consideration.

Barnes & Noble shares were only selling for less than $9 one month ago. But Malone's faith in the e-book market and Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book reader may be a reason for his interest, while some analysts feel his offer undervalues the company for that very reason.

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