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October 6, 1998

BERTELSMANN BUYS 50% OF BARNESANDNOBLE.COM

By CBR Staff Writer

Barnes & Noble Inc, the giant US book retailer, has revealed a deal with German media conglomerate Bertelsmann AG for the latter to take a 50% stake in barnesandnoble.com for $200m. Bertelsmann said it would contribute certain US assets from its previously announced BooksOnline division. Both companies will also contribute $100m of new capital to the joint venture and the previously announced IPO of barnesandnoble.com will be postponed. Bertelsmann said it would be continuing with its plans to launch its own BooksOnline service across Europe in November but that it would use its network to collaborate with barnesandnoble.com. Leonard Riggio, chief executive of Barnes & Noble Inc, said the deal would give his .com division immediate access to global markets. Additionally, the future could see links with Bertelsmann’s subsidiary companies, Arista Records, RCA Records and Random House, the US book publisher.

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