MBS Textbook Exchange, a Columbia-based textbook distribution company that is the city’s ninth-largest employer, was purchased by Barnes and Noble Education for $174.2 million, according to a news release Tuesday.
Barnes and Noble College President Patrick Maloney said MBS will operate as an independent subsidiary of Barnes and Noble Education. Maloney said he doesn’t anticipate many changes in the company’s day-to-day operations.
MBS provides new and used textbooks to over 3,700 college bookstores, as well as digital course materials to more than 700 online bookstores. The purchase agreement will allow MBS and BNE to work with more than 1,490 bookstores and serve at least 6 million students in higher education institutions, according to the release.
According to Columbia’s 2016 comprehensive financial report, MBS Textbook Exchange had 851 employees last year. It employs up to 1,100 people “in peak seasons,” Maloney said in an email.
This is the first agreement Barnes and Noble Education has made with a textbook distribution company.
Read more: Columbia Missourian