The possibility of a separation of Barnes & Noble's digital and college businesses has been brewing.
In January, Barnes & Noble said it was considering options for its Nook business, including possibly spinning it off or expanding overseas, and said it expected the review to be complete by the end of the year.
And in March, private investment firm G Asset Management, a Barnes & Noble shareholder, offered $460 million for a 51 percent stake in the company's college bookstore unit, Barnes & Noble College Booksellers LLC.
Under that plan, the college bookstore unit was proposed to begin as a private business but become public within a "reasonable" amount of time. G Asset's offer was contingent upon Barnes & Noble keeping current management in place and separating its Nook e-business from the rest of the company. At the time the offer was made, Barnes & Noble declined to comment.
In 2009, Barnes & Noble Inc. bought the college bookstore unit from Chairman Leonard Riggio in a deal worth $596 million. The deal ended up costing Barnes & Noble $460 million after accounting for the unit's cash on hand at the closing date.
AP Retail Writer Mae Anderson, Business Writer Michelle Chapman and AP National Writer Hillel Italie contributed to this report.
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