Investing: When A `Carve Out' Is A Good Deal

Taking a page from a popular playbook, Barnes & Noble recently unveiled plans to sell a minority stake in its online operations via an initial public offering. For the nation's largest bookseller, there's an allure to this special type of deal, which is known on Wall Street as a partial spin-off, or "carve-out." Hoping to exploit the fancy prices the market is still awarding Internet companies despite equities' recent decline, Barnes & Noble can expect to collect $100 million or more from outside investors hungry to get in on barnesandnoble.com. But by spinning off only a part of barnesandnoble.com, the parent will still be able to maintain firm control over its growing unit.

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