Barnes & Noble up on Microsoft bid as new finance head named

BARNES & NOBLE, the US book retailer, saw shares rocket yesterday on reports that Microsoft is set to pay $1bn (£646m) for its Nook business.

The news came as Microsoft appointed Amy Hood, the technology giant’s first female chief financial officer. One of the 10-year Microsoft veteran’s first acts in her new job may be signing off on the Barnes & Noble deal, which sent shares in the retailer up by more than 20 per cent.

The Nook business is Barnes & Noble’s answer to the Amazon Kindle ereader, which the company launched in 2009.

The brand expanded into the UK at the end of last year, but the unit remains loss making, and speculation has mounted that it will be split from Barnes & Noble’s bricks and mortar operation.

The parties did not comment on the bid, which was reported by technology website TechCrunch.

Microsoft has appointed Hood, 41, as the immediate replacement for Peter Klein, who said he was stepping down last month for personal reasons.