eReading Company Posts Record Holiday Sales
TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2012 /CNW/ - Global eReading leader Kobo Inc. ("Kobo")
today announced the successful acquisition of all its outstanding
shares by Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ:4755) ("Rakuten") for US $315 million.
The acquisition has been completed following customary closing
conditions, including approval under the Investment Canada Act. Kobo's management team will remain with the company, which will
continue to be headquartered in Toronto.
The acquisition by Rakuten, one of the world's leading Internet service
and e-commerce companies, provides Kobo with a strong growth
opportunity to expand its footprint into new and expanding markets. The
move comes as Kobo set new sales records this past holiday season:
December 25th was Kobo's best day ever for eBook downloads, with several ebooks
downloaded every second by readers in over 150 countries
Kobo saw a 10-fold increase in new customers compared to the company's
Compared to last year's holiday season, eGifting increased by 500%,
eReader sales and eBook sales more than doubled
More than 1 million new Kobo users were added in December alone
"During this holiday season, Kobo has demonstrated strong sales and
continued leadership within the competitive eReading market; we are
very excited to complete the acquisition of Kobo and look forward in
supporting its global expansion," said Hiroshi Mikitani, Chairman and
CEO of Rakuten. Beyond Kobo's established presence in the U.S., Canada,
Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the company also saw dramatic
gains in the UK, France and Germany this holiday season."
"While the transformation to digital reading is well underway, it is
still in its infancy. As a part of Rakuten, we will accelerate our
growth internationally, bringing new products, a leading eReading
experience and a world class catalogue to passionate readers
everywhere," said Michael Serbinis, CEO of Kobo Inc.
Kobo was founded in 2009 as a contender in the global eReading market.
Since its inception, the company has become a fierce competitor in the
marketplace with its family of innovative eReaders, global ebookstore,
industry-leading social platform and a wide range of free eReading apps
for smartphones, tablets, netbooks and desktop computers.
About Kobo Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service with more than 2.5 million eBooks,
magazines and newspapers - one of the largest eReading catalogues in
the world. As part of its "Read Freely" philosophy, Kobo believes
consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device and
has attracted millions of readers from over 100 countries across the
globe. Kobo has top-ranked eReading applications for iPad, iPhone,
BlackBerry, Android, Windows and MacOS, and is the eReading application
of choice for leading tablet OEMs. Kobo eReaders, including the Kobo
Touch and the newly launched Kobo Vox are available at leading
retailers, including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Future Shop,
WHSmith, FNAC, Collins Booksellers and Whitcoull's. Kobo's innovative
Reading Life is an industry-first comprehensive social eReading
experience where Kobo users can earn awards simply for time spent
reading and encouraging others. For more information on Kobo, and to
download free eReading apps, visit www.kobo.com.
Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ:4755), is one of the world's leading Internet
service companies, providing a variety of consumer- and
business-focused services including e-commerce, travel, banking,
securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing
and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently
has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas.
Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000
employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/group.
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SOURCE Kobo Inc.
For further information:
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Rogers & Cowan