Barnes & Noble’s Nook Media e-reading and tablet subsidiary this morning announced a new investor, the Pearson education and publishing company, and separately warned that holiday sales are coming in below its projections.

Pearson, which includes the Financial Times Group and Penguin publishing company, will invest $89.5 million in cash for a 5 percent stake in Nook Media. Microsoft, which invested $300 million in the Nook Media Business, will own slightly less than 17 percent of the Nook business after the Pearson investment.

In a regulatory filing, Barnes & Noble issued this statement about holiday sales.

The Company expects to announce its holiday sales results on January 3, 2013.  Based on preliminary sales results to date in the holiday period and sales trends, the Company expects its holiday sales results will be below expectations and that the NOOK business will not meet the Company’s prior projection for fiscal year 2013.

In connection with the investment, Barnes & Noble says Nook will also enter into an agreement to distribute Pearson’s content. In addition, Pearson will have the option to buy up to an addition 5 percent stake in the Nook Media business.

The deal is notable in part because it aligns Pearson with Barnes & Noble and the Nook in the competition vs. Amazon’s Kindle business.

In its own announcement yesterday, Amazon noted that the Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle are remain the top-selling products across all of, and reported that Cyber Monday 2012 was the biggest day on record for Kindle sales. Following its traditional practice, Amazon didn’t disclose any specific sales numbers.

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  • FrankCatalano

    Interesting, in that Pearson Education has already worked with its India subsidiary to create a tablet bundled with education content. This seems to continue some companies’ vertical integration efforts in edtech, especially when it comes to consumer (vs. education) market sales.

    At the same time, many educators are trying to unbundle content in textbooks and digital learning programs to create mash ups of their own instructional materials. And for that latter effort many organizations and companies, including Pearson, are responding by allowing educators to select only the digital chunks they want. Pearson appears to be playing this both ways to appeal to various markets.

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