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