If books are engines of change, Nebraska Book Company (NBC) is transforming college students across the US. One of the largest textbook distributors in the US, NBC sells 6 million-plus books annually. It serves some 2,500 booksellers and operates nearly 250 bookstores on or adjacent to college campuses that sell and rent textbooks and other merchandise. NBC also supplies educational materials to private high schools, nontraditional colleges, and corporate and correspondence classes, as well as store management and e-commerce software. Founded in 1915 as a bookstore near The University of Nebraska, NBC emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2012. It is owned by holding company Neebo, Inc.
Nebraska Book Company (NBC) in June 2011 filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to declining sales and mounting losses, driven by a shift to online book purchases along with the recession's impact on continuing education. The new debt restructure cuts NBC's $450 million in loans and bonds to some $240 million. The company emerged from bankruptcy in June 2012 with 23 new stores, including Portland State University Bookstore.
NBC's largest business is its bookstore division, which accounts for about three-quarters of its total sales. The company's textbook division accounts for about 20%, while its complementary services division brings in the rest.
NBC's fiscal 2012 (ends March) revenue declined 7% vs. the prior year, and the company was unprofitable. Indeed, NBC's net income loss widened in fiscal 2012 to about $170 million from $98 million in fiscal 2011. (In connection with its emergence from bankruptcy protection, NBC adopted fresh slate accounting, which means its financial statements are not comparable with previously issued financial statements.)
Prior to emerging from bankruptcy NBC closed 42 bookstores. Leading the company post bankruptcy is Steve Clemente, who was promoted from president and COO of the company to CEO in August 2012. Under Clemente, NBC is seeking to realize its growth strategy of expanding the college stores and textbook divisions, and increasing online sales.
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