Barnes & Noble Education Buys Virtual Bookstore Operator For $174 Million

  • February 28, 2017 at 8:23 PM EST
  • By Adam Blair
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Barnes & Noble Education (BNED), one of the nation’s largest contract operators of higher education bookstores, has acquired MBS Textbook Exchange for $174.2 million in cash. The combined company will operate more than 1,490 physical and virtual bookstores serving more than six million students.

MBS, itself a contract operator of virtual bookstores, also is one of the largest used textbook wholesalers in the U.S. Through its MBS Direct business, the company services more than 700 virtual bookstores with a comprehensive e-Commerce experience. MBS also sources and sells new and used textbooks to more than 3,700 physical college bookstores, including BNED’s 770 campus locations, and provides inventory management, hardware and POS software to approximately 485 college bookstores.

David Henderson has been named President of MBS and will report to Patrick Maloney, COO of BNED and President of Barnes & Noble College. MBS’ CEO Bob Pugh and President Dan Schuppan have announced plans to retire as of March 31, 2017.

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Prior to the acquisition, MBS was privately held and majority owned by Leonard Riggio, who also owns approximately 16% of BNED’s outstanding shares. Riggio is the founder and Executive Chairman of parent company Barnes & Noble. Since the August 2016 departure of CEO Ron Boire, he also has served as CEO, despite an earlier announcement that he would retire.

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