Britain's Pearson to invest $89.5 mln in Barnes & Noble's Nook Media

Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:49am EST

Dec 28 (Reuters) - British education and media publisher Pearson Plc said it will buy a 5 percent stake in Barnes & Noble Inc's digital Nook and college bookstore businesses for $89.5 million.

Barnes & Noble, whose shares rose as much as 6 percent to $15.19 on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday morning, said the Nook division will not meet prior expectations for its current year.

The top U.S. bookstore chain's Nook Media unit comprises its digital businesses - including Nook e-reader and tablets and the Nook digital bookstore - and 674 college bookstores across America.

Barnes & Noble said in November that quarterly loss at the Nook division increased on raised spending on its e-readers and tablets to keep pace with larger rivals Inc and Apple Inc.

The bookseller also said on Friday that sales in the crucial holiday season will come in below expectations, based on preliminary results and current sales trends.

The 2012 holiday season may have been the worst for retailers since the 2008 financial crisis, with sales growth far below expectations, forcing many to offer massive post-Christmas discounts in hopes of shedding excess inventory.

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