B&N to separate its businesses

B&N to separate its businesses

Barnes & Noble has announced it will separate its Nook and retail arm from its education business by August this year.

The US bookseller said the planned separation will create two independent publicly traded companies, one comprising of its B&N College stores and the other comprising of its general retail stores and Nook digital businesses. 

The company said it had filed a Registration Statement detailing the planned move with the US Securities and Exchange Commission with the completion expected by the end of August 2015. 

The news comes after the company has repeatedly warned it was set to spin off its Nook business, which has seen tumbling sales of devices and content in the last two years. 

Now it appears the company is no longer to spin off Nook, but to separate the declining business from its college arm, which it says will “optimize its strategic opportunities”. The B&N statement said: “As more focused companies with differing potential growth profiles, capital needs and market dynamics, each company will benefit from strategic clarity and separate management and board focus. The separation will also allow investors to assess each business more clearly as a stand-alone company.”

Michael P Huseby, c.e.o of Barnes & Noble, said: “We have a talented College management team in place, led by c.e.o Max Roberts, and we will continue to invest and innovate to support the mission of our campus partners, expanding to new colleges and universities, students and faculty and increasing our presence in the growing market for digital educational content and services.”

He added: “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. At the same time, Barnes & Noble will be able 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.”