Barnes & Noble tanks on e-reader spin-off plans

AMERICAN book retailer Barnes & Noble (BN) is exploring options for splitting its Nook e-reader business from its bookshop core, refusing to specify whether it would sell the arm.

While sales of all Nook devices in the last two months of 2011 were up 70 per cent on the previous year, the Nook Simple Touch experienced sluggish sales compared to expectations, contributing to BN’s decision to cut its forecast for earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation almost 30 per cent to the range of $150m to $180m (£96.8m to £116m).

The Nook, which could soon be sold overseas, is expected to bring in $1.5bn of revenue in fiscal 2012. BN chief executive William Lynch said: “We believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value.”

BN shares plunged over 30 per cent to $9.35 before closing at $11.24.