Indigo, the majority shareholder in Kobo, announced today that it has agreed to sell Kobo Inc. to Rakuten, Japan's biggest online shopping mall operator, for US$315 million.

The book retailer, which founded and spun Kobo off in 2009 as an independent company, says expects to receive approximately US$140 million to US$150 million from the proceeds of the sale on a fully diluted basis.

"We are truly proud of the success that Kobo and Indigo have achieved. From start up, only 24 months ago, to becoming a strong global player," said Indigo CEO Heather Reisman. "Rakuten will allow Kobo to meet the demands of competing with the very best players in the world."

Kobo will continue to function as a stand-alone operation with its headquarters, management team, and employees based in Toronto.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval under the Investment Canada Act, and is expected to close in early 2012.

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