According to Reuters, Japan’s Rakuten Inc. is buying all shares of LinkShare Corp. for $425 million.
Rakuten, founded in 1997, operates a diversified Web portal business in Japan and also owns the Rakuten Eagles, a professional baseball franchise. Rakuten is a public company listed on the JASDAQ with a market capitalization as of September 5, 2005 of $9.7 billion.
“LinkShare’s performance-based marketing expertise across affiliate, search and e-mail capabilities provides Rakuten with an excellent first step to launch our U.S. operations and continue our international expansion,” Hiroshi Mikitani, Rakuten’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
“We can leverage LinkShare’s client relationships and technology advantages worldwide, so that LinkShare will be able to achieve significant growth in the future,” continued Mr. Mikitani.
Congratulations to the folks at LinkShare – now that you’ll be wearing the Rakuten Eagles caps, I’ll be happy to take your Yankees tickets off your hands!