Barnes & Noble Taking Dot-Com Arm Private

Barnes & Noble Inc., the country's largest bookseller with 868 stores nationwide, said Friday that it will take its loss-making Barnes & Inc. arm private after buying all stock it does not own for $115 million, or $2.50 a share.

The decision comes in the same year that Barnes & Noble bought shares held by Barnes & partner Bertelsmann of Germany for $164 million, or $2.80 a share.

Barnes & Noble currently owns 75 percent of its online arm. Once the deal is consummated, Barnes & will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Barnes & Noble.

The Internet retailer was formed in May 1997. Bertelsmann, a German media giant that owns the Random House publishing group, invested $200 million in 1998 for an equal share with Barnes & Noble. But the online retail alliance failed to compete with Amazon's discounts or marketing.

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