Microsoft Invests $300 Million in New Barnes & Noble Unit
U.S. computer giant Microsoft will make a $300 million investment in a new Barnes & Noble subsidiary to combine the bookseller's digital reading capabilities, including its Nook tablet, and its college businesses.
The investment will give Microsoft a 17.6% stake in the as-yet unnamed unit that "will accelerate the transition to e-reading, which is revolutionizing the way people consume, create, share and enjoy digital content," the companies said in a statement.
In January, Barnes & Noble -- whose market value has plummeted in recent years -- had announced plans to spin off its digital business to maximize value for its shareholders.
"The shift to digital is putting the world's libraries and newsstands in the palm of every person's hand, and is the beginning of a journey that will impact how people read, interact with, and enjoy new forms of content," said Microsoft President Andy Lees.
The company's input would "accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices," Lees said.
It was not decided whether the separation of the new unit will involve a new stand-alone company, according to the statement.
In February Barnes & Noble unveiled a new version of its Nook tablet, with the same $199 price tag as Amazon's Kindle Fire.