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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 Amazon.com, 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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