B&N to Spin Off College-Bookstore Business

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BooksBarnes & Noble Inc. will spin off its college-bookstore business from its retail chain and Nook e-reader operations, creating two publicly traded companies.

As part of the breakup, shares in the new Barnes & Noble Education business will be distributed tax-free to investors, the New York-based company said Thursday in a statement. Barnes & Noble will offer as many as 775 million shares in the spinoff, which is expected to be completed by the end of August.

The split comes six years after the retailer purchased the division from company founder and current Chairman Len Riggio for $514 million. Barnes & Noble has deliberated for months over how to restructure its business, which has suffered from a slowdown in brick-and-mortar retail as well as heavy competition from Amazon.com Inc. in e-readers.

“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,” Chief Executive Officer Michael Huseby said in Thursday’s statement.

Read more at Bloomberg Business.