Barnes & Noble is being acquired by a hedge fund for $476 million and will be taken private.

The national chain that many blamed for the demise of independent bookstores has been ravaged by Amazon.com and other online sellers, but remains a critical outlet for publishers.

(Omaha has two stores, at Oak View and Crossroads Malls; Lincoln has two, at SouthPointe Pavilions and 5150 O St.)

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On Friday, the chain was acquired by Elliott Management and, in a twist, will likely become a national chain with a business model more akin to that of a local bookstore.

Elliott bought Waterstones one year ago, a national U.K. book chain that has successfully navigated through the online/e-reader revolution by returning autonomy to the managers of its nearly 300 stores, who can select books that they believe local readers want.

James Daunt, who runs that U.K. chain and who will become CEO of Barnes & Noble, said that is what he has in mind.

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