Barnes & Noble Inc, the world's largest bookseller, said it acquired e-book seller Fictionwise for $15.7 million in cash, to expand its presence in digital world.

After the deal, Barnes & Noble, which plans to launch an e-Bookstore later this year, intends to keep Fictionwise as a separate business unit and founders, Steve and Scott Pendergrast, will continue to operate the business.

Shares of Barnes & Noble closed at $16.70 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Poojya Trivedi in Bangalore; Editing by Amitha Rajan)