When Barnes and Noble started experiencing close to $1.2 billion in loses in their Nook Media division, they started to get companies to invest. Microsoft contributed $300 million and educational publisher Pearson kicked in $89 million. In early December the bookseller bought back their shares from Microsoft and today, B&N repurchased the 5% equity investment from Pearson for $28 million dollars in cash and stock.
Barnes and Noble is now free to charter their own path, without having to be accountable to 3rd party investors. Although they are still responsible to their shareholders, as part of being a publicly traded company, they are free to determine their own direction.
Earlier in the year, the largest bookseller in the US expressed their interest about spinning off the Nook division into its own autonomous entity. This is poised to occur in August 2015 and should increase the overall profitability of the consumer and college bookstores, which tend to be huge money earners. It is yet unknown whether or not anyone will step forward and purchase Nook, or if Barnes and Noble will commit themselves to e-Books and e-readers for the foreseeable future.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.