Pearson completes taking stake in B&N's Nook

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- A British publisher and education company has taken a 5 percent stake in Barnes & Noble's e-book business, a deal first announced last month.

Technology and media companies have looked for inroads into the e-book industry, seeing tablets like the iPad and the Barnes & Noble NOOK as replacements for the dozens of books that students must lug to and from school.

Microsoft already owns a 16.8 percent stake in Nook Media, the Barnes & Noble subsidiary.

The arrival of Pearson, a massive educational publisher, could bring the goal widely distributing tablets in school classrooms a step closer. Pearson, which also owns the Financial Times, is spending nearly $90 million for a piece of Nook Media, which includes the book-seller's e-reader and tablets, its digital bookstore and its 674 stores serving U.S. colleges.

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said that retailer has already worked with Pearson for years " in developing new ways to improve and enhance digital learning for students."

Barnes & Noble still owns a 78.2 percent stake in Nook Media.

Pearson has the option to buy an additional 5 percent stake, with some conditions.