Rakuten is to acquire Kobo for US$315 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2012.
Kobo was founded by and spun out of Indigo, the largest book, gift and specialty toy retailer in Canada, in December, 2009. Since that time, Kobo has become a fierce competitor in the eBook marketplace, with a family of innovative eReaders, a wide range of eReading apps, one of the largest eBook catalogues, an innovative social platform and retail partners around the globe.
The acquisition marks a major step forward for Rakuten, one of the world’s top 3 e-commerce companies by revenue, as it continues to expand its B2B2C borderless e-commerce business globally, by adding an ecosystem to provide downloadable media products to consumers, starting with eBooks.
Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, commented on the acquisition, “We are very excited about this next step. Kobo provides one of the world’s most communal eBook reading experiences with its innovative integration of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter; while Rakuten offers Kobo unparalleled opportunities to extend its reach through some of the world’s largest regional e-commerce companies.
Upon closing the acquisition, Kobo will continue to maintain its headquarters, management team and employees based in Toronto, Ontario.
Japan, Tokyo & Canada, Toronto
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