Once a pioneer in the space, the B&N Nook has long lagged behind the Kindle, dragging down the bookseller with it. But no more. Barnes & Noble just announced that it will separate its retail and NOOK Media businesses into two separate public companies. This separation is expected to be complete by the first quarter of the next calendar year.
“We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately,” said Michael P. Huseby, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, in a released statement. “We fully expect that our Retail and NOOK Media businesses will continue to have long-term, successful business relationships with each other after separation.”
This news comes alongside B&N fourth quarter 2014 financial results where the Nook side of the company continued to drag down the rest of the company. The company saw fourth quarter consolidated revenues increase 3.5% to $1.3 billion over prior year levels while the Nook side watched revenues decrease 22.3% for the quarter and 35.2% for the year.
The stock market seems to like this news as B&N opened up on the day and continues to soar, surpassing its 52 week high.
After the split, the Nook business will no longer have the comfy life raft of Barnes & Noble. It will be sink or swim, and if the brand’s history is any indication, the Nook will not be treading water for very long.