Barnes & Noble to spin off struggling Nook business

The company announced the split Wednesday as it reported its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter earnings and revenue results.


Retail bookseller Barnes & Noble will separate its Nook Media business into a separate public company. The beleaguered bookseller announced the split Wednesday as it reported its fiscal 2014 fourth quarter earnings and revenue results. 

Nook has long faced unyielding competition from Apple iPads and Amazon Kindles, and up-and-coming Android and Windows tablets. In June of 2013 Barnes & Noble announced it would no longer manufacture color Android-based tablets and instead focus on the core business of Nook eReaders. 

Clearly the focus was not enough to buoy the Nook business, as the ongoing struggle reflected in its earnings and took center stage as the impetus for separating Nook from its retail segment.

The bookseller said Nook posted a 22 percent decline in revenue to $87.1 million, with adjusted losses trimmed to $56 million. The retail side of Barnes & Noble managed to post a slight gain in revenue to $955.6 million.

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Michael P. Huesby, the company's CEO, said in a statement:

We believe we are now in a better position to begin in earnest those steps necessary to accomplish a separation of Nook Media and Barnes & Noble Retail. We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately. We fully expect that our Retail and NOOK Media businesses will continue to have long-term,successful business relationships with each other after separation.

The separation of the Nook Media business is expected to be completed by March 30, 2015.