Barnes & Noble Inc. will spin off its college-bookstore business from its retail chain and Nook e- reader operations, creating two publicly traded companies.

As part of the breakup, shares in the new Barnes & Noble Education business will be distributed tax-free to investors, the New York-based company said Thursday in a statement. Barnes & Noble will offer as many as 775 million shares in the spinoff, which is expected to be completed by the end of August.

Subscribe Now

Complete access to real-time information and analysis of news and trends in the industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.