Microsoft Could Pay $1B for B&N’s Nook Unit

by Christopher Freeburn | May 9, 2013 12:07 pm

Barnes & Noble BKS Nook Tablet[1]Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS[2]) shares surged more than 15% in Thursday midday trading after a report surfaced that Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT[3]) is bidding to acquire its Nook Media division[4].

According to TechCrunch, internal documents from Barnes & Noble indicate that Microsoft has offered the bookseller $1 billion to purchase its Nook tablet and digital media business. The software giant is not interested in the unit’s college text book division.

The move comes as Barnes & Noble is planning to withdraw from the tablet business to concentrate on selling e-books that can be read on apps installed on other manufacturer’s devices. The documents reveal that Barnes & Noble will end production of its Nook tablets by the end of the 2014 fiscal year.

Nook tablets run on a version of Google‘s (NASDAQ:GOOG[5]) Android operating system and compete with Amazon‘s (NASDAQ:AMZN[6]) Kindle tablets, as well as Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL[7]) iPads. Roughly 10 million Nook tablets have been sold. Microsoft took a 17.6% stake in Nook Media last year[8] after it split from Barnes & Noble’s retail book division.

Holiday sales of the Nook proved lower than expected, prompting speculation that Barnes & Noble might seek a buyer for the unit[9].

Earlier this month, Barnes & Noble added Google’s Play app store to the Nook tablet[10], boosting the number of apps available to Nook users from about 10,000 to more than 700,000.

Shares of Microsoft slipped slightly in Thursday midday trading.

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  2. BKS:
  3. MSFT:
  4. bidding to acquire its Nook Media division:
  5. GOOG:
  6. AMZN:
  7. AAPL:
  8. stake in Nook Media last year:
  9. might seek a buyer for the unit:
  10. added Google’s Play app store to the Nook tablet:

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