Back in April we reported that Barnes & Noble was hooking up with Microsoft to form a new venture that will work to “accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content.” And today, that subsidiary has finally been given the rubber stamp.
B&N will own 82.4% of this subsidiary, pushing e-reading technologies as it spins off its Nook Digital and College businesses. As part of the deal, Microsoft invested $300 million for its 17.6% equity.
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The new subsidiary, previously referred to as ‘Newco’, will be called Nook Media LLC, and while the deal was never really in any doubt, things are now official. One of the first products of this partnership will be, as expected, the Barnes & Noble NOOK app for Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system which officially rolls off the conveyor belt to the public later this month.
“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,” says 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.”
While the partnership is now finalized, Barnes & Noble say that there is no set timetable for its “review of strategic options” for investment in NOOK Media LLC. Moreover, it says that there is no assurance that the review will result in a “strategic separation or the creation of a stand-alone public company.”
An interesting conclusion – it seems that it will be testing the water with this partnership before electing to go all-in and spin off a fully-fledged independent company.
Image Credit – KAREN BLEIER/Getty Images