Barnes & Noble shareholders discovered that the company’s stock shot up 95% before the market opened on Monday morning with the news that Microsoft had secured a 17.6 percent stake in Nook’s business. The investment was procured after Barnes & Noble announced in January that it wanted to spin off its e-book division.
Part of the deal will include a new Nook application in Windows 8, a move that would obstensibly introduce Barnes & Noble products to millions of e-book readers. The bookseller plans to spin off its digital and college divisions into a subsidiary in partnership with Microsoft (MSFT) in a digital reading venture the two companies have dubbed Newco. The Windows creator will invest $300 million in the new business. Goldman Sachs analyst Matthew Fassler called the deal a “game-changer.”
Barnes and Noble’s needs Microsoft’s global scale and money to grow its ebook business beyond the United States. Amazon has aggressively rolled out its Kindle reader worldwide; it announced earlier this month that the Kindle Touch 3G is available in more than 175 countries, and Nook is officially IN THE GLOBAL E-BOOK GAME.
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