Japan’s Rakuten Acquires UK E-commerce Site Play.com For $39.2 Million

Amazon, take (another) note.

Rakuten, a massive consumer and business-focused Internet service company, this morning announced that it has acquired e-commerce site Play.com, one of the UK’s largest online retailers.

Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by Rakuten’s board, the e-business giant is paying approximately £25 million (3.3 billion yen or roughly $39.2 million) in cash for 100 percent of outstanding Play.com stock from its current shareholders.

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Jersey, British Isles, Play.com is today one of the UK’s largest online retailers, with 14 million registered users and 7 million listed products (ranging from DVDs, music and electronics to clothing and accessories).

Play.com employs approximately 500 people (Rakuten employs over 10,000 worldwide).

This is Rakuten’s third acquisition in Europe: the company acquired French e-commerce company PriceMinisterfor $250 million – back in 2010 and bought Tradoria, a German online shopping mall, in July 2011. Rakuten also recently acquired Brazilian e-commerce company Ikeda in addition to Buy.com (also for $250 million).

Earlier this month, the company also announced that it was part of a consortium that invested $100 million in Russia’s leading online retailer, Ozon.ru.

Rakuten, headquartered in Tokyo, is rapidly becoming a giant global player – the company now operates e-commerce businesses in ten countries worldwide.