Barnes & Noble Education considering digital acquisitions

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) officially spun-off its college bookstore operator, Barnes & Noble Education, into its own entity. The new education division announced it will consider acquiring digital services to speed up growth.

Barnes & Noble Education Chairman Michael Huseby said that takeovers are a good way for the retailer to boost sales quickly, Bloomberg reported. For example, when still under the main Barnes & Noble umbrella, the retailer invested in Flashnotes, which lets students sell study materials online.

In addition, the newly-formed company will expand their digital app Yuzu, a note-taking platform for online and e-reader devices.

"We're different than some of the online companies like Amazon and Chegg in that we have a very close relationship and a deep relationship with the universities we serve," Huseby told Bloomberg.

Huesby hopes to make education less costly by moving it into the digital platform, TheStreet reported. He is not worried about competition from retailers such as Amazon because he stressed Barnes & Nobles' advantage of being on campus.

Last year the company added $90 million of annualized revenue and 48 new stores. Twenty-four more stores are slated for this year. The company will focus now on digital and content partners to grow more significantly.

There have been a lot of administrative changes for Barnes & Noble over the past few years. In 2014, the parent company bought back its stake in the Nook e-reader from Pearson PLC for $28 million. The company split into two separate segments last summer, separating the Nook business from retail.

For more:
-See this Bloomberg article
-See this TheStreet article

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