barnes-noble-logo1.jpgToday Delaware Court of Chancery vice chancellor Leo. E. Strine Jr. ruled that Barnes & Noble could legally keep investor Ron Burkle from increasing his stake in company.

The New York Times has the scoop: “‘The defendants have shown that their adoption and use of the Rights Plan was a good faith, reasonable response to a threat to Barnes & Noble and its stockholders,’ Vice Chancellor Strine wrote in the opinion.”

Burkle had sued the bookseller, alleging that shareholders had created an unfair situation by keeping him from increasing his stake in the company. Earlier this afternoon, Barnes & Noble released a terse statement that they did not reach a predicted settlement with Burkle and his investment firm, Yucaipa Companies. In response to “press reports of a potential agreement with Yucaipa,” the bookseller issued this statement: “Barnes & Noble and Yucaipa were unable to conclude an agreement on mutually acceptable terms.”