Thursday, May 9, 2013

Internal document reveals $1B Microsoft offer for Nook maker

Internal document reveals $1B Microsoft offer for Nook maker

Internal document reveals $  1B Microsoft offer for Nook maker

After spinning off its e-book division into a separate company last fall, bookseller Barnes & Noble may soon unload troubled Nook altogether to investor Microsoft.

TechCrunch reported Thursday that Microsoft may have an offer on table to entirely swallow up Nook Media LLC, the digital book company it invested heavily into last year.

According to an internal document obtained by the website, Microsoft has offered $ 1 billion to buy out the joint venture, wh ich is co-owned by retailer Barnes & Noble.

Since its spinoff last fall, Nook has been on the decline with a 26 percent year-over-year drop in the holiday quarter, immediately sparking rumors that Barnes & Noble could buy back the company or even ditch hardware entirely.

Shift to Windows?

As part of the reported Microsoft buyout, existing Android-based Nook hardware would be phased out by end of the 2014 fiscal year in favor of app distribution through "third-party partner" devices.

Nook already has a solid presence on Windows, iOS and Android as well as having sold 10 million tablets and e-readers sold to date, so it's unclear if Microsoft's offer suggests a push to Windows 8-powered hardware or devices made by others.

Microsoft already has a 16.8 percent stake in Nook Media LLC following a $ 300 million investment made in last April, which $ 180 million earmarked for Nook Windows 8 software development.

Last October, Barnes & Noble shifted Nook Media LLC into a separate entity recently valued at $ 1.8 billion - considerably less than the amount Microsoft has reportedly offered.


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