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Barnes & Noble says holiday sales disappointing, Nook has new investor

December 28, 2012|By Shan Li
  • Barnes & Noble said preliminary reports indicate a disappointing holiday season.
Barnes & Noble said preliminary reports indicate a disappointing… (Dave Martin / Associated…)

Bookstore chain Barnes & Noble said Friday its holiday sales look disappointing and that publisher Pearson Plc took a 5% stake in its Nook e-reader business.

In a regulatory filing, the New York company said early reports indicate its holiday sales fell below expectations and its Nook unit won't meet initial projections for the fiscal year.

But news that Pearson agreed to invest $89.5 million in cash into its Nook division, which values the business at $1.79 billion, sent shares of Barnes & Noble up 6.3% to $15.25 in midday trading.

Pearson, owner of Penguin Books, is the second big investor the bookseller has received for its Nook division. Tech giant Microsoft bought into the unit in April in a deal valuing the business at $1.7 billion.

Barnes & Noble has been fighting a decline in the demand for paper books that felled its former rival Borders Group, which filed for bankruptcy and liquidated its stores last year.

The bookseller has been trying to grow its Nook e-reader business to capitalize on the rising popularity of digital books, but has been losing money as it markets the Nook in an industry crowded with rivals such as the Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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