Barnes & Noble Education to Consider Digital Takeovers

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Barnes & Noble Education Inc., the college-bookstore operator that was just spun off from the larger books and games retailer, will consider acquiring digital services to speed its growth.

Barnes & Noble Education Chairman Michael Huseby said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg Television that takeovers give the retailer a chance to boost sales “a little faster than just organically.” When the company was still a unit within Barnes & Noble Inc., it invested in Flashnotes, which lets students sell notes and study materials online. Huseby said the company also is committed to expanding Yuzu, its note-taking platform that works online and on e-reader devices.

Barnes & Noble Education’s stores already compete well against online rivals like Inc. and book-renter Chegg Inc., Huseby said.

“We’re different than some of the online companies like Amazon and Chegg in that we have a very close relationship and a deep relationship with the universities we serve,” Huseby said.

Still, Barnes and Noble Education shares got off to a rocky start in the first day of trading. The shares declined 8.1 percent to $13.19 at the close in New York.