Rakuten to buy U.S. eBook company OverDrive for $415 million: Nikkei

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 19, 2015 1:39 AM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Rakuten Inc <4755.T> plans to buy U.S. eBook company OverDrive Inc for around 50 billion yen ($415 million), the Nikkei business daily reported, the latest in a spate of overseas acquisitions by the Japanese online retailer.

The company, which will announce the acquisition on Thursday, will turn Ohio-based OverDrive into a wholly owned unit, the Nikkei said.

Rakuten has been on a buying spree in recent years to reduce reliance on its home market.

In October it bought U.S. discount store Ebates.com for $1 billion. Other high-profile acquisitions in recent years include free messaging application Viber for $900 million and Canadian e-book reader Kobo for $315 million.

($1 = 120.5000 yen)

(Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)