Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) said on Thursday it plans to split its education unit, which includes its college business, from its retail and Nook businesses. The separation, once complete, would result in two separate, publicly-traded companies. The company said it plans to complete the split by August.
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The retailer said in a statement the separation of its units is intended to create two more focused companies.
“Separating Barnes & Noble Education will create an industry-leading, pure-play public company with more flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities in the growing education service markets,” CEO Michael Huseby said in a statement. “At the same time, Barnes & Noble will be able to better capitalize on improving industry trends and merchandising initiatives within its core retail business.”
The company’s education business operates 714 stores on colleges and university campuses across the country.
Barnes & Noble shares rose more than 2% in early trade following the announcement.