Sainsbury's moves into e-book space with acquisition of majority stake in online books platform Anobii

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Sainsbury's has today announced the acquisition of HMV Group plc’s shareholding in Anobii Limited, a social network and online retailer of e-books. As a result of the transaction and Sainsbury’s investment in the future development of the business, it is anticipated that Sainsbury's will have a 64% stake in Anobii.

The investment in Anobii is a further step in Sainsbury's strategy to deliver digital services to support the growth of its online channel and commitment to multichannel retailing. The acquisition supports Sainsbury's drive into the growing online and digital entertainment market following the launch of Sainsbury's Entertainment in November 2010, the acquisition of online entertainment company Global Media Vault Ltd in October 2011 and the launch of its music download service earlier this year.

Anobii is an online e-books platform which enables readers to research titles and purchase them to read on a range of e-reader, smartphone and tablet devices. Readers can rate, review, share and discuss their choices with other Anobii members on www.anobii.com and across related social networking sites. The service currently has over 600,000 users worldwide, with a library of over 60,000 e-books.

Sainsbury's joins Anobii's existing shareholders and global publishers HarperCollins, Penguin and Random House Group (UK) with the aim of investing in and developing the business in the UK and overseas.

Mark Bennett, Sainsbury's Head of Digital Entertainment, said: "Anobii's innovative use of social media is a clear differentiator. This acquisition is a valuable addition to our digital portfolio and shows our commitment to becoming a key player in the digital entertainment market. It further demonstrates how we are constantly looking to innovate and seize opportunities that will support the future growth of our business. We're excited about working together with the Anobii team and our fellow shareholders in supporting Anobii to become a leading retailer of e-books."

Sainsbury's purchased HMV Group plc's stake in Anobii Limited for £1.

GP Bullhound, the technology investment bank, acted as the sole financial advisor to HMV on the transaction.

Notes to editors

About Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's was founded in 1869 and today operates over 1,000 stores, including 440 convenience stores and employs around 150,000 colleagues. We put our customers at the heart of everything we do and have invested in our stores, our colleagues and our channels to deliver the best possible shopping experience. Our strong culture and values are part of our identity and integral to our success.

About Anobii

Anobii is a social e-books platform which enables people to discover titles and purchase them to read on mobile and tablet devices. In 2010, Anobii received investment from Penguin, Random House, HarperCollins and HMV to build a social retail site for e-books. Since then Anobii has built relationships with more publishers in the book industry to grow its catalogue of e-books and to improve its database of books.

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About the article

  • Posted on: 12 June 2012
  • Type of article: Press release

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