Barnes & Noble up for sale; winner takes nook

Barnes & Noble has put itself up for sale, potentially handing the company's nook ebook reader into the hands of rivals such as Amazon.  The move is part of a broader strategy exploring ways to turn around its ailing share price; according to the WSJ's sources, a private equity company is most likely to pick up chain, but there's also the possibility that Amazon themselves could step in and use an acquisition to further bolster their ebook market share.

Whoever signs the check is expected to need just under $950 million in the back; Barnes & Noble's market capitalization surged by 25-percent after the sale announcement was made, but it still lags considerably behind Amazon's $55bn market cap.  Current investor Ronald Burkle is one named shareholder who has publicly thrown his hat into the ring as a potential suitor.