NEW YORK — U.S. bookseller Barnes & Noble said Thursday it had ended a partnership with Microsoft (IW 500/16) for its Nook tablet computers, as the retailer prepares a spinoff of the unit.
B&N said it agreed to buy back the stake from Microsoft, which in 2012 agreed to invest $300 million in the Nook division.
The companies "have agreed to terminate their commercial agreement including any associated obligations for international content acquisition and sale," said B&N in a statement.
"Such termination will allow the company to continue its rationalization of the Nook Digital business and enhances Barnes & Noble’s operational and strategic flexibility."
Nook has had a difficult time in a tablet market led by Apple (IW 500/4), Amazon and Samsung (IW 1000/12), but earlier this year agreed to make a co-branded tablet with the South Korean electronics giant.
B&N separately said it posted a profit of $12.3 million on revenues of $1.7 billion in the previous quarter, with the Nook division seeing an operating loss of $38 million.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014