Pearson Buys 5% Stake in Nook Media

Posted on January 1, 2013

Hobbit on Nook Device

Pearson has bought a 5% stake in Nook Media LLC, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, Inc. Nook Media is the company behind the Nook tablets and ebook readers. It is also retails the digital content for the Nook devices, which is sold through Barners & Noble. Pearson paid $89.5 million in cash for the 5% stake. Barnes & Noble now owns 78.2% of Nook Media and Microsoft owns 16.8%. Nook Media said in a release that Pearson also has the option buy up to an additional 5% of the company, subject to certain conditions.

William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc., said in a statement, "We formed Nook Media to be a leader in the exploding market for digital content. Pearson is a forward thinking company similarly focused on reading and learning, with powerful assets and a terrific management team. We welcome their partnership in NOOK Media, and look forward to working with them and Microsoft to deliver great digital experiences for our shared customers."

Competition over digital books continues to grow. Customers currently have Kindles, Nooks, iPads and tablets using various formats to choose from. Pearson is interested in continuing to sell its educational content as textbooks transform to a digital platform. The Nook devices will be one of the devices or formats in the battleground over electronic textbooks and elearning.

Photo: Barnes & Noble