TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten said Tuesday it would buy US online shopping operator Ebates for about $1.0 billion as it taps overseas markets to counter a limited home market.
Rakuten said the all-cash deal would give it access to 2.5 million new customers in the United States, Canada, South Korea and China.
“The company will acquire Ebates for a total consideration of $1 billion in cash, and will hold 100 per cent of Ebates outstanding voting stock,” Rakuten said in a statement.
“The combination of the two companies will give birth to an attractive and innovative membership-based marketplace for consumers featuring a points programme at the core.”
Rakuten’s billionaire chief executive Hiroshi Mikitani said it was a “strategically important” move that would give his company a foothold in the enormous US market.
The deal could help Rakuten compete abroad with industry giants Amazon and China’s Alibaba, which is preparing an initial public offering that could raise as much as $24.3 billion in what be the biggest share sale in history.