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Kobo deal closes for $315 million (U.S.)

You have to give them credit for their dramatic sense of timing. Nearly two months to the day after news of Kobo’s impending sale to Japanese tech giant Rakuten became a buzz topic for publishing insiders at the Scotiabank Giller Prize gala, the Toronto-based e-reading company (formerly owned by Indigo) has announced the successful completion of the deal. The news comes a day after another foreign takeover of a Canadian book business, raising questions about whether there remains any willingness in Ottawa to enforce cultural policies meant to limit such transactions.

According to a press release sent out by Kobo Wednesday afternoon, Rakuten successfully acquired all outstanding Kobo shares for $315 million (U.S.). The deal was “completed following customary closing conditions, including approval under the Investment Canada Act.” The release also notes that Kobo’s management team will remain in place and continue to be headquartered in Toronto.

“The acquisition by Rakuten, one of the world’s leading Internet service and e-commerce companies, provides Kobo with a strong growth opportunity to expand its footprint into new and expanding markets,” the press release notes.

While the transformation to digital reading is well underway, it is still in its infancy,” Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis is quoted as saying. “As a part of Rakuten, we will accelerate our growth internationally, bringing new products, a leading eReading experience and a world class catalogue to passionate readers everywhere.