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Barnes & Noble drops challenge to Amazon and closes the Nook book

NEW YORK --U.S. book retailer Barnes & Noble said Wednesday it would spin off its Nook division, which produces tablets and digital books, amid ongoing losses at the unit.

The plan authorized by the board would separate the Nook unit by early 2015 and ends the effort by Barnes & Noble to directly challenge online giant Amazon and its Kindle devices.

The company said it engaged Guggenheim Securities as financial advisors and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP as legal counsel for the spinoff.

The news came as Barnes & Noble announced a net loss of US$36.7 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, narrowing the deficit from US$114.8 million a year earlier. This was helped by a US$12.5 million one-time tax benefit.

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