Rakuten says to buy U.S. rebate site operator Ebates for $1 billion

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 09, 2014 3:44 AM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten Inc <4755.T> said on Tuesday it would buy U.S. rebate site operator Ebates Inc for $1 billion in cash, the latest in a series of acquisitions to expand its business overseas.

Rakuten expects the transaction to close next month, the company said in a statement.

CEO Hiroshi Mikitani has led Rakuten on a buying spree to reduce the firm's reliance on the domestic market. High-profile acquisitions in recent years have included free messaging application Viber for $900 million and Canadian e-book reader Kobo for $315 million.

The latest acquisition was expected after Rakuten said on Saturday it was in talks with Ebates about a potential purchase and Japanese media said they were finalising a deal.

Separately, Rakuten said it filed a shelf registration to issue up to 100 billion yen ($940 million) in bonds, saying it would use the proceeds for operating cash, capital expenditures and others.

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)