|Barnes & Noble to Spin Off College Bookstores Unit|
By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED
New York Times
FEB. 26, 2015
Barnes & Noble said on Thursday that it would spin off its college bookstores business into a separate publicly traded company, changing up its breakup plans.
Originally, the retailer had planned to part with the education division as part of a spinoff of its Nook business, made up in large part of its beleaguered e-reader device.
Over the last year, Barnes & Noble has taken steps to reorganize itself to help stabilize its ebbing business. It has bought back stakes in the Nook business owned by Microsoft and the education publisher Pearson as part of the planned spinoff of the division.
Now, however, Barnes & Noble will keep the Nook business and spin off just the college bookstore unit, its best-performing division. In the 26 weeks ended Nov. 1, the education division reported $10.7 million in profit on top of $977.4 million in sales, according to a prospectus filed on Thursday.
By contrast, the core retail division reported $1.8 billion in sales and the Nook unit just $133.9 million during that same period. The college bookstores business was the only one to report revenue growth during that period.
“Separating Barnes & Noble Education will create an industry-leading, pure-play public company with more flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities in the growing educational services markets,” Michael Huseby, its chief executive, said in a statement.
The unit, to be called Barnes & Noble Education, operated 714 stores as of Nov. 1, as well as sales of e-textbooks through its Yuzu platform.
Shareholders in Barnes & Noble will receive stock in the independent college bookstore unit by the end of August.
Shares in Barnes & Noble were up 5.6 percent in early morning trading on Thursday, at $25.67.