Barnes & Noble, Inc. and Microsoft announced the completion of their previously announced strategic partnership in NOOK Media LLC, a recently formed Barnes & Noble subsidiary and a leader in the emerging digital reading and digital education markets. Microsoft and Barnes & Noble’s strategic partnership in NOOK Media LLC will enable the companies to advance world-class digital reading experiences to the hundreds of millions of customers they jointly serve.
NOOK Media LLC comprises the digital and College businesses of Barnes & Noble and will continue to have a very close and mutually beneficial relationship with Barnes & Noble’s retail stores. The partnership includes a $300 million investment from Microsoft in NOOK Media LLC.
“As demand for digital content continues to increase, we are focused on bringing ground-breaking reading and learning content and technologies to more people in more formats than ever before, including the imminent launch of our exceptional NOOK reading application for Windows 8,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “We look forward to working closely with our new partner Microsoft to add value to their innovative new platform by bringing great reading experiences and one of the world’s preeminent digital bookstores to millions of Windows 8 users.”
“NOOK Media is a leader in developing the next generation of digital reading and we look forward to the company bringing one of the world’s largest digital libraries to Windows 8 devices via their upcoming Windows 8 app,” said Andy Lees, President at Microsoft. “We are also excited by NOOK Media’s product roadmap and expansion into markets around the world as demonstrated by their recent launches in the United Kingdom.”
Microsoft made its $300 million investment in NOOK Media LLC at a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion in exchange for an approximately 17.6% equity stake, with Barnes & Noble owning the remaining shares.
As previously announced, there is no set timetable for Barnes & Noble’s review of strategic options for its investment in NOOK Media LLC. There can be no assurance that the review will result in a strategic separation or the creation of a stand-alone public company. Barnes & Noble does not intend to comment further regarding the review unless and until a decision is made.