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Rakuten übernimmt Viber für 900 Mio. USD

Rakuten Inc (4755:Tokyo), eines der weltweit größten Internet-Service-Unternehmen, gab heute die Übernahme des Messaging-Pioniers und VoIP-Unternehmens Viber für 900 Millionen US-Dollar bekannt. Die Transaktion unterstreicht nach der Übernahme von Kobo, Wuaki.tv und Viki den Anspruch Rakutens, eine führende Rolle im digitalen Content-Geschäft einzunehmen.

Da sich Nutzer von traditionell übermittelten Inhalten immer mehr mobilen Anwendungen zuwenden, stellt Viber, einer der bekanntesten mobilen Kommunikations-Services der Welt mit einer rapide wachsenden Nutzerzahl von bisher über 300 Millionen registrierten Kunden, eine ideale Ergänzung für die Strategie von Rakuten im digitalen Geschäft dar. Die Übernahme ermöglicht es Rakuten, mit der Kombination aus E-Commerce- und Finanzdienstleistungen sowie vielfachen digitalen Inhalten in neue Märkte vorzudringen und bringt Rakuten dem Ziel, weltweit zur Nummer 1 unter den Internet-Service-Unternehmen zu werden, ein gutes Stück näher.

Mit 40 unterschiedlichen Diensten hat Rakuten ein äußerst dynamisches und nachhaltiges Ökosystem aus Internet-Services geschaffen, welches auf einer zentralen Kunden-ID und dem damit verbundenen extrem beliebten und erfolgreichen Rakuten Superpunkte-Programm basiert. Vibers unterhaltsamer Charakter im Bereich Messaging und die qualitativ hochwertigen VoIP-Services passen optimal zu Rakutens Konzept von Shopping als Entertainment, das das Fundament der weltweit umfangreichsten und engagiertesten täglichen Online-Plattform bildet. Umgekehrt bietet die Kombination Viber durch die Erschließung von über 225 Millionen Rakuten-Kunden riesige Potenziale weltweit.

Hiroshi Mikitani, Vorsitzender und CEO von Rakuten, kommentiert:

„Ich freue mich außerordentlich, Viber in der Rakuten-Familie willkommen zu heißen. Viber bietet eine überaus nachhaltig hohe Qualität und ferner hervorragende Messaging- und VoIP-Funktionen sowie einen tollen Sticker-Markt. Außerdem hat Viber großes Potenzial als Gaming-Plattform. Einfach ausgedrückt versteht Viber es einfach, wie Menschen tatsächlich miteinander in Kontakt treten wollen und hat einen Service aufgebaut, der genau diese Bedürfnisse umfassend bedient. Viber ist die ideale Plattform für Rakuten, da wir stets bestrebt sind, unser neues Kundenkonzept weiteren Zielgruppen über unser dynamisches Ökosystem aus Internet-Services nahezubringen.”

Talmon Marco, CEO und Gründer von Viber, sieht ebenfalls viele Synergien:

„Rakuten ist eines der bedeutendsten Internet-Unternehmen der Welt. Die klare Marktführerschaft in Japan und der dynamische globale Expansionskurs machen Rakuten zu einem klaren Vorreiter. Diese Kombination bedeutet für uns eine enorme Chance, unsere Nutzerzahl in bestehenden und neuen Märkten schnell und nachhaltig auszubauen. Gemeinsam können wir unser Ziel erreichen, zur weltweiten Nummer 1 zu werden. Mit unserer Kombination haben wir einen wichtigen Schritt in diese Richtung getan.”

Vibers plattformübergreifende Anwendung ist ohne Zweifel beeindruckend. Viber kann auf einen beachtlichen Kundenstamm von mittlerweile über 300 Millionen registrierten Nutzern verweisen, allein im Jahr 2013 betrug die Steigerungsrate über 120 Prozent.

Rakuten begann 2012 mit der Übernahme von Kobo, Inc., einem der weltweit am schnellsten wachsenden E-Reading-Services, der Kunden in über 190 Ländern inzwischen mehr als 4 Millionen E-Books, Magazine und Zeitungen bietet, im digitalen Content-Geschäft Fuß zu fassen. 2012 erfolgte außerdem die Übernahme von Wuaki.tv, einem innovativen europäischen Video-On-Demand- und Streaming-Service, der vor kurzem die internationale Expansion über Spanien hinaus gestartet hat, indem auch Kunden aus Großbritannien auf den Katalog erstklassiger Kinofilme und das einzigartige Hybrid-Payment-Modell zugreifen können. Zuletzt, im September 2013, hat Rakuten die grenzenlose digitale Content-Plattform Viki übernommen, die 65 Prozent ihrer 30 Millionen registrierten Kunden über mobile Endgeräte erreicht.

Berater

Goldman, Sachs & Co. fungierten als Finanzberater von Viber. White & Case LLP agierten als Rechtsberater von Viber.

ÜBER RAKUTEN, INC.

Rakuten, Inc. (4755:Tokyo) ist eines der weltweit führenden Internet-Service-Unternehmen und bietet eine Vielzahl von Dienstleistungen für Endkunden und Unternehmen an, unter anderem in den Bereichen E-Commerce, E-Reading, Reisen, Bankwesen, Wertpapiere, Kreditkarten, E-Geld, Logistik, Portale und Medien, Online-Marketing und Profisport. Rakuten rangiert unter den ersten 10 in der Forbes Liste der innovativsten Unternehmen 2012 und 2013, expandiert weltweit und ist derzeit in ganz Asien, Europa, Nord- und Südamerika und Ozeanien aktiv. Hauptsitz des 1997 gegründeten Unternehmens ist mit über 10.000 Mitarbeitern weltweit Tokio. Weitere Informationen: http://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

ÜBER VIBER

Viber wurde von Viber Media entwickelt, einem zukunftsweisenden Unternehmen in den Bereichen mobiles Messaging und VoIP. Viber schafft weltweite Verbindungen. Gratis. Nutzer von Viber können kostenlose Textnachrichten, Sticker, Fotos, Videos und Doodles senden, weltweit Locations teilen, gratis HD-Anrufe tätigen und via Push-To-Talk kommunizieren. Mit Viber Out profitieren Nutzer von preiswerten Anrufen weltweit. Viber ist verfügbar für das iPhone®, Android-Geräte und Tablets, das ™Windows Phone, Blackberry®, Windows®, Windows 8®, Mac, Linux, Symbian, Nokia S40 und Endgeräte von Bada via 3G/4G oder WiFi-Verbindungen. Mit nahezu 300 Millionen Nutzern in 193 Ländern schafft Viber konstant Innovationen durch die Einbindung neuer Plattformen und unterhaltsamer Features.

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