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Barnes & Noble spikes on IPO filing

Shares of Barnes & Noble surge more than 14 percent after the company says it has registered for an initial public offering of its online venture

Shares of Barnes & Noble, the largest U.S. brick-and-mortar bookstore, surged more than 14 percent this morning after the company said it had registered for an initial public offering of its online venture

The bookseller and German media empire Bertelsmann AG together announced they had filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an offering of about 15 to 20 percent of Class A Common stock of their online joint venture, Once publicly traded, the stock will be listed on the Nasdaq market under the symbol "BNBN."

Barnes & Noble stock shot 14.5 percent or 4.19 points higher to 33.06. The issue has traded as high as 48 and as low as 22.19 during the past 52 weeks.

The proceeds of the offering will be used to expand the company's e-commerce business, including new systems and distribution initiatives. The funds will also be used for acquisitions and general corporate purposes.

Barnes & Noble had originally filed to take its online venture public last September but pulled the plug on the IPO after Bertelsmann agreed to take a $200 million--50 percent stake--in it instead.

Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch will help take the joint venture public. Marketing of the issue will begin soon after the amendment has been approved by the SEC.

Barnes & Noble chairman and CEO Leonard Riggio will serve as chairman of, while Jonathan Bulkeley will be the online company's chief executive. He will be responsible for the operations of the company, its financial performance, strategic initiatives, and investor and shareholder relations. He will report to Riggio.

The company's main competitor is but the earliest online bookseller has made strong moves to diversify it offerings to include music, video, and shopping comparison services.