Barnes & Noble Acquires College Bookseller

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Barnes & Noble (BKS), the largest book retailer in the United States, announced today that they were buying back the Barnes & Noble College Booksellers (College), an independently operated business founded by BKS in 1965. Operating more than six hundred college bookstores on college campuses, the acquisition will allow B&N to position itself to acquire more of the online textbook and electronic book markets.

textbooksBKS will pay $596 million to acquire “College” in an industry that generates about $10 billion in revenue annually. 35% of university bookstores are operated by College and other third parties, and 65% are operated by the educational institutions themselves. College has had a 93% renewal rate success for its 405 contract sites within the past five yars and is anticipating strong growth in the years ahead as the college student population increases by about one-third between now and 2015.

BKS Board of Directors Chairperson Irene Miller said, “Reunifying the Barnes & Noble brand and reintegrating these highly complementary businesses has long been a top priority of the BKS Board. College has a leading position in a market with excellent fundamentals and will add a very predictable and growing revenue stream to BKS.  In addition, in a rapidly changing environment, both companies will benefit from a unified digital platform and brand, which will enable the combined company to capitalize on the growing online college textbook and electronic book markets.”

Ms. Miller added, “The Special Committee of the Board conducted a rigorous and lengthy process to assess the opportunity, optimize the structure of this transaction and secure the best possible price and terms for BKS shareholders.  We are pleased to be acquiring a profitable and growing company at a very attractive valuation – which will diversify BKS’ revenue base, provide significant earnings accretion, and give BKS full control of its valuable brand.”

BKS operates 777 stores in all fifty states and has been the top book retailer for six consecutive years. Among the colleges with stores managed by Barnes & Noble are UNC/Charlotte, Iona College, Santa Clara University, Texas A&M University, The University of Michigan among others.

Source: Barnes and Noble, Inc.

See Also — College Bookstores Defend Their Market

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Categories: Campus News