Japanese web retailer Rakuten acquires Toronto’s Kobo for $315 million in cash

Rakuten, a web retailer based in Japan, has acquired Canadian-made Kobo, a competitor of Amazon and others in the ereader and ebook space.

Rakuten bought 100% of the shares for a total of $315 million in cash. 58% of Kobo was owned by Indigo Books and Music, which can certainly use the cash in these dire times for brick and mortar book businesses. But how much of Kobo’s staff and assets will remain in Canada?

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani called the company “entrepreneurial, fast, and strong” and the two companies have a “shared vision.”

Kobo just recently launched its Vox tablet and made plans to launch an ebook publishing platform for authors.