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Barnes and Noble Education Buys MBS Textbook Exchange

Mike Kalasnik

In a news release yesterday, Barnes and Noble Education announced it is purchasing local textbook distribution company MBS Textbook Exchange for $174.2 million.

MBS, which started as the Missouri Store Company in Columbia in 1909, sources and sells textbooks to more than 3,700 college bookstores and services more than 700 virtual bookstores.

Pugh and MBS President Dan Schuppan plan to retire on March 31, according to the release.

"We are confident that joining forces with Barnes & Noble Education will enable us to serve the needs of our customers and partners even more effectively and better meet the demands of the changing education landscape,” MBS CEO Bob Pugh said in the news release.

Barnes and Noble Education has worked with MBS for over 30 years. Together they will operate more than 1,490 bookstores.

In the release, Barnes and Noble Education CEO Max J. Roberts said joining forces with MBS will allow for greater reach in the physical and virtual bookstore market.

“This combination will allow us to generate more value from the textbook marketplace through expected inventory and procurement synergies,” Roberts said in the release, “which will enhance our ability to drive successful student outcomes by providing complete, affordable solutions that empower students and faculty.” 

MBS is Columbia’s ninth largest employer and had 851 employees last year, according to the city’s 2016 comprehensive financial report.