Barnes & Noble to spin off Nook tablet, college businesses

The bookselling giant says the spin-off will help the company increase its presence in the "growing market for digital educational content and services.

(Image: CNET)

Barnes & Noble is spinning off its Nook digital tablet business from its college business, forming two separate publicly-traded companies.

In an S-1 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission submitted Thursday, the bookseller said it would split the two businesses to help the two brands "focus on their respective strategies."

In a statement, Barnes & Noble said the separation will help "assess each business more clearly as a stand-alone company."

While its college business is healthy, with about 650 stores in the US, the company's loss-making Nook business continues to decline year-over-year, based on the company's fiscal second quarter earnings.

"We have a talented College management team in place, led by [college division chief] 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," said Barnes & Noble chief executive Michael Huseby in prepared remarks.

The company aims the split to be completed by August.