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B&N’s Nook accelerates online learning

NEW YORK & LONDON — Nook Media, a subsidiary of Barnes & Noble, has teamed up with Pearson, a leading global learning company, to accelerate customer access to digital content.

Pearson has agreed to invest $89.5 million in cash in Nook Media at a post-money valuation of approximately $1.8 billion in exchange for preferred membership interests representing 5% equity stake. Following the closing of the transaction, Barnes & Noble will now own approximately 78.2% of the Nook Media subsidiary and Microsoft, which also holds preferred membership interests, will own approximately 16.8%. Subject to certain conditions, Pearson will earn the option to purchase up to an additional 5% ownership in NOOK Media.

Pearson will pair its leading expertise in online learning with Nook Media’s expertise in online distribution and customer service to make digital content and services readily available and seamlessly accessible to consumers.

"We formed Nook Media to be a leader in the exploding market for digital content," said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. "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."

"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,” added Will Ethridge, CEO of Pearson North America. “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."

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