British publisher Pearson has committed to an $89.5 million investment in Barnes & Noble
's Nook Media subsidiary. The stock acquisition represents a five-percent stake in the Nook division, which will continue to be controlled by Barnes & Noble's 78.2-percent ownership.
"We formed NOOK Media to be a leader in the exploding market for digital content," said Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch. "Pearson is a forward thinking company similarly focused on reading and learning, with powerful assets and a terrific management team."
Pearson joins Microsoft in its Nook investment, after the latter company moved to acquire a 16.8-percent share in the digital distribution venture. Terms of the Pearson investment enable the British company to eventually double its stake in the Nook division.
Barnes & Noble has worked to compete directly with Amazon's Kindle ecosystem, which has proven a top contender in the Android tablet arena. Both companies offer several tablets and e-readers, paired with competing distribution systems for digital content such as e-books, movies and music.
"With this investment we have entered into a commercial agreement with NOOK Media that will allow our two companies to work closely together in order to create a more seamless and effective experience for students," said Pearson North America CEO Will Ethridge.
The companies have yet to elaborate on specific details regarding their fledgling partnership.