Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), a content, commerce and technology company that provides consumers access to books, rose sharply in trading on Friday after the company announced that Pearson (NYSE: PSO) agreed to make a strategic investment in Nook Media LLC.
Pearson will make an investment of $89.5 million in Nook Media in exchange for preferred member interests representing 5% equity stake. On completion of the transaction, BKS will own approximately 78.2% of Nook Media. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) owns approximately 16.8% of Nook Media.
Barnes & Noble said that the investment from Pearson 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.
William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble, said that BKS formed Nook Media to be a leader in the exploding market for digital content. Lynch said that Pearson is a forward thinking company similarly focused on reading and learning, with powerful assets and a terrific management team and BKS welcomes their partnership in Nook Media and looks forward to working with them and Microsoft to deliver great digital experience for customers.
Will Ethridge, CEO of Pearson North America, said that 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. Ethridge said that the new agreement extends the partnership and deepens the commitment to provide better, easier experiences for customers.
Barnes & Noble shares rose to an intra-day high of $15.74 on Friday before finishing the day 4.32% higher at $14.97 on above average volume of 5.49 million. Year-to-date, BKS shares have gained 3.38%, underperforming the S&P 500.