Barnes & Noble To Finally Spin Off Nook Into Separate Business

These days when we think of Barnes & Noble, there’s always a second thought immediately after — “What the heck is going on with that company?” After years of whispers, exits, and declining sales, Barnes & Noble says it’s finally going to go ahead and spin off its Nook business, separating it from the retail part of the company.

Barnes & Noble has seen sales sliding at its bookstores and in the e-reader business, which is likely a big part of the reason why they’re splitting off now into separately traded companies. The idea being, they can sink or swim on their own without dragging the other down with them.

Bloomberg reports that the spinoff will be all signed and sealed by the first quarter of next year, according to the company. Sales are still dropping, with fourth-quarter results today showing continuing Nook losses as well as a dip in comparable sales at its stores.

“We have determined that these businesses will have the best chance of optimizing shareholder value if they are capitalized and operated separately,” Michael Huseby, Barnes & Noble’s chief executive officer, said in a 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.”

It’s unclear who gets the kids on which weekends, but at least it sounds like no one is blaming each other.

Barnes & Noble Agrees to Spin Off Nook Unit as Sales Decline [Bloomberg]