Barnes & Noble Says Pearson Bought 5% of Nook Unit

Pearson Plc agreed to buy a 5 percent stake in the Nook e-reader unit of struggling bookstore chain Barnes & Noble Inc., joining Microsoft Inc. as a backer of the business.

Barnes & Noble shares rose the most in almost three weeks even after the New York-based company said holiday sales were below expectations and the Nook unit won’t meet its projection for fiscal 2013. Publisher Pearson’s investment values Nook at $1.79 billion, about twice Barnes & Noble’s market capitalization.

“This is a reaffirmation of the valuation that no one believed with Microsoft

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