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Barnes & Noble Keeping Nook, including Nook Video

26 Feb, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

National bookseller opts for just spinning off college textbook business

Barnes & Noble Feb. 26 announced it would separate its education unit into a standalone publicly held business. The national book retailer said it would sell the college textbook business while retaining Nook Digital Business, according to a regulatory filing.

Previously, Barnes & Noble said it would also sell Nook, which saw a 55% drop in revenue during the winter retail period.

The college textbook business, which is available in 714 stores, is valued by Barnes & Noble at $774 million. The company is the No. 2 college textbook retailer after Follett — with Amazon attempting to gain market share with the launch of select campus stores.

Nook Digital Business, which includes Nook Video (electronic sellthrough, UltraViolet and transactional VOD), will be folded into Barnes & Noble’s retail business unit.

The separation of business units is anticipated to be completed by the end of August, subject to customary conditions.

CEO Michael Huseby said the education unit would create a public company with more flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities in the growing educational services markets. At the same time, he said retaining Nook would help Barnes & Noble to better capitalize on improving industry trends and merchandising initiatives within its core retail business. 

“Retail and the Nook Digital Business will be able to leverage a more integrated technology infrastructure for improved efficiency and to better serve digital customers,” Huseby said. 

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