Barnes & Noble buys back Pearson stake in NOOK as bookseller prepares for spinoff

Spinoff of businesses on track for the fall of 2015 after repurchase of Pearson and Microsoft stakes this month

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are reporting that Barnes & Noble has bought back the share of the NOOK business owned by Pearson. The buyback, worth about $27.7 million in cash and stock, is necessary as B&N prepares to spin off its NOOK and college bookstore divisions in the fall of 2015.

NOOKNewsstandEarlier this month B&N bought out Microsoft’s share of the NOOK business, so this move should clear the way for the eventual division of the company, though the Barnes & Noble press team has not released any statement concerning the Pearson stake sale or any plans going forward.

In its earnings statement of December 4, B&N said they expected “could occur by the end of August 2015, although there can be no assurances regarding the timing of such potential separation or that such separation will be completed.”

NOOK Media revenue fell over 40 percent in the third quarter of this year to $63.9 million, and although losses were trimmed, the division still lost $37.6 million in the quarter. The college bookstore division, on the other hand recorded the only revenue gains, up just under 2 percent (the retail stores saw revenue fall 3.6 percent) and though profits fell slight, that division remains highly profitable.

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