Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have completed their plans to create a new B&N subsidiary called NOOK Media LLC (previously called NewCo). The new division will be responsible for the Barnes & Noble NOOK eBook devices, digital media sales, and the NOOK College business.
Microsoft invested $300 million in the deal, and we should see a NOOK app for Windows 8 one of these days.
Microsoft’s contribution gives the company a 17.6% stake in NOOK Media, with B&N owning the rest of the shares. At this point there are no plans to spin off NOOK Media as a public company, but that could still happen in the future.
For now, it’s pretty much business as usual for NOOK and B&N customers. You’ll continue to be able to pick up a NOOK eReader or tablet at a Barnes & Noble retail store, and the online shop for eBooks will still be the NOOK store.
But on paper the digital store and bricks and mortar retail businesses are separate companies now, which should give NOOK Media LLC a bit more flexibility.