Barnes & Noble’s Nook Division Receives $89.5 Million Investment From Pearson

NOOK Media, LLC, a division of Barnes & Noble, Inc. has announced an $89.5 million investment on behalf of Pearson, the world’s leading learning company. The cash infusion comes with a post-money valuation of approximately $1.789 billion in exchange for preferred membership interests representing five percent equity stake.

After the deal closes, Barnes & Noble will retain a 78.2 percent share of the company and Microsoft, which owns preferred membership interests will own 16.8 percent. Pearson will then own the option to purchase up to a five percent ownership stake in NOOK Media, LLC.

According to a press release from the company:

“Pearson’s strategic investment in NOOK Media will accelerate customer access to digital content by pairing its leading expertise in online learning with NOOK Media’s expertise in online distribution and customer service. This will facilitate improved discovery of available digital content and services, as well as seamless access.”

William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc., says of the new partnership:

“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.”

Adding to the excitement was Will Ethridge, Chief Executive Officer of Pearson North America:

“Pearson and Barnes & Noble have been valued partners for decades, and in recent years both have invested heavily and imaginatively to provide engaging and effective digital reading and learning experiences. This new agreement extends our partnership and deepens our commitment to provide better, easier experiences for our customers. With this investment we have entered into a commercial agreement with NOOK Media that will allow our two companies to work closely together in order to create a more seamless and effective experience for students. It is another example of our strategy of making our content and services broadly available to students and faculty through a wide range of distribution partners.”

A recent report has found that more tablets are now being purchased than e-readers. With the Barnes & Noble Nook leading the way as one of the more recognizable Google Android-based tablets, the right partnerships could mean a big difference for the future of the Barnes & Noble NOOK line of devices.