eBay to acquire brands4friends for $200 million

eBay has reached a definitive agreement to acquire all of the shares of brands4friends, Germany’s largest online shopping club for fashion and lifestyle, for cash at a transaction value of approximately $200 million (€150 million). The move is designed to strengthen eBay’s position as a leading online fashion destination in Europe. eBay already generates more than $5.4 billion in clothing, shoes and accessories merchandise volume annually.

The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011. 

Germany’s largest online shopping club, brands4friends sells high-quality goods from renowned fashion and lifestyle brands at reduced prices to members through limited special offers on a daily basis. Founded in 2007, brands4friends has approximately 3.5 million members in Germany, and has held a wide variety of campaigns with more than 600 top brands, including international fashion brands such as Buffalo, Calvin Klein and Diesel. The company, which employs approximately 200 people, is headquartered in Berlin.

“We want to give our customers the best possible fashion experience online,” said Doug McCallum, Senior Vice President for eBay in Europe. “With the acquisition of brands4friends, we will enter the online shopping club market with an established and dynamic partner who has the expertise, relationships and passion to match our own ambition. We expect many eBay customers will enjoy great deals on international fashion brands by joining the brands4friends community.”

Online shopping clubs are a fast growing part of the online fashion market, and now account for approximately 20 percent of online fashion sales in Europe, according to eBay’s own research.

“eBay is the perfect partner for us,” said Sergio Dias, Chief Executive Officer of brands4friends. “We are able to bring our retail and brand competence and industry knowledge to eBay, and we can expect to benefit from eBay’s traffic and ecommerce experience to accelerate the growth of our shopping community.”

As part of the deal eBay will assume brands4friends’ equity interests in U.K. shopping club SecretSales.com and in Japan, brands4friends.jp.

USA, San Jose, CA & Germany, Berlin

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