RealTime IT News

Barnes & Noble in Takeover Bid for BN.com

Bookseller giant Barnes & Noble on Friday announced plans to spend $115 million to take full control of its BN.com subsidiary.

Just months after increasing its stake in the online unit to 75 percent, Barnes & Noble offered to pay $2.50 a share for all shares in BN.com that it does not already own.

If the buyout clears regulatory approval, Barnes & Noble plans to take the Internet unit private as a wholly owned subsidiary.

BN.com was spun out as a separate public company in 1997 at the height of the Internet boom but it has been an uphill struggle ever since to grab market share from its chief rival Amazon.com .

The company scored a massive $200 million equity investment from German media giant Bertelsmann but that partnership would lead to public squabbling over BN.com's management team. The two sides kissed and made up in February this year and, by July, Bertelsmann cut ties with BN.com and sold its 35 percent stake to Barnes & Noble for $164 million.

BN.com, which sells books, electronic titles, magazines, CDs, DVDs and software on the Internet, has never seen a profitable quarter and has been tinkering with different business models to catch up to Amazon.com. In September, BN.com pulled the plug on sales of e-books, citing poor sales and limited technology.