Barnes & Noble has been acquired by Waterstones’ parent company Elliott Advisors in an all-cash deal.
It has bought the US book retailer in a deal worth $683m (£538m).
Waterstones boss James Daunt will assume the role of Barnes & Noble chief executive following the completion of the deal and will be based in New York.
Barnes & Noble is the largest bookseller in the USA and serves 627 communities across all 50 states.
Founder Leonard Riggio, who is stepping down after 54 years at the helm, said: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Elliott, the owner of Waterstones, a bookseller I have admired over the years.
“In view of the success they have had in the bookselling marketplace, I believe they are uniquely suited to improve and grow our company for many years ahead.”
Daunt said: “Physical bookstores the world over face fearsome challenges from online and digital.
“We meet these with investment and with all the more confidence for being able to draw on the unrivalled bookselling skills of these two great companies.”