Book company to float Net division

Barnes & Noble takes Amazonian approach

Loss-making US book retailer Barnes & Noble is to follow rival and float its online book-selling division. Barnes & Noble said it would file for an initial public offering for its offshoot, in an attempt to cash in on the Internet stock boom. A number of US Internet companies, most recently GeoCities, have seen stock values soar within hours of floatation. Barnes & Noble said that it would float 20 per cent of the on-line division within 30 days. - launched in March 1997 - lags behind in the online book wars. has a market capitalization of $6.4 billion, which is 14 times revenues. It has also never made a profit. In Q2 1998, posted revenues of $12.5 million, barely a tenth of's $116 million. Overall Barnes & Noble made a loss of $5.7 million on sales of $675 million for its most recent quarter. US analysts pointed out that clearly leads the estimated 14,000 web sites that sell books, but said that the market was expanding at such a rate that could expand without going head to head with

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