Barnes & Noble acquires Pearson’s stake in Nook e-reader unit

RetailME Bureau

American bookstore chain Barnes & Noble Inc. bought back Pearson Plc’s stake in its Nook Media e-reader division for about $28 million, giving it complete ownership of the business.

The agreement gives Barnes & Noble more flexibility to rid itself of the struggling unit – a move investors have urged for years and that the company agreed to pursue in June. Barnes & Noble bought back Microsoft Corp.’s Nook holdings for $62.4 million earlier this month.

The bookseller said earlier this month that the Nook separation may be completed by the end of August. The unit posted a second-quarter loss of $37.6 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. According to Barnes & Noble CEO Michael Huseby, the company is speaking with several potential partners and has made no determination about whether it will proceed with a spinoff or sale or in what form.