Barnes & Noble chairman wants to buy company - but not the Nook

February 25, 2013: 9:51 AM ET
barnes and noble store

Barnes & Noble Chairman Leonard Riggio wants to buy the company's stores, and leave the company's Nook e-book business as a separate company.

Riggio, who disclosed his plans in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday, did not name a price. Shares jumped 8% in early trading.

Riggio is already the largest shareholder of Barnes & Noble (BKS), with nearly a 30% stake in the company.

The company had already been considering spinning off the Nook business as a separate company.

Last April, it announced a deal with Microsoft (MSFT) in which Microsoft bought a 17.6% stake in Nook. Publisher Pearson (PSO) bought a 5% stake in Nook in December.

Those deals both value the overall Nook business at more than $1.7 billion, even though Barnes & Noble stock is worth just less than $800 million.

Related: Top 3 e-book picks

In early January, the company reported a weak Christmas season, with sales at its retail stores falling 11%. Sales at its Nook unit fell 12.6% to just $300 million.

Earlier this month, the company warned of rising losses and disappointing sales for its Nook unit in the past year, results of which are due Thursday.

How Barnes & Noble ships millions of gifts

Barnes and Noble and other traditional book retailers have struggled with competition from (AMZN), which has its own Kindle e-book. Borders filed for bankruptcy two years ago and went out of business in July 2011.

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