July 19, 2011

Kobo Comments on Borders’ Liquidation

The man­age­ment of Kobo, a global leader in eRead­ing with over 4.2 mil­lion users in more than 100 coun­tries world­wide, has is­sued com­ments re­lat­ing to the on­go­ing li­quid­a­tion of Bor­ders to cla­rify mis­con­cep­tions about Kobo that have been in­ac­cur­ately re­por­ted by the media and mis­un­der­stood by con­sumers.

Kobo man­age­ment provides the fol­low­ing facts re­gard­ing the com­pany:

  • Kobo is a privately-held com­pany that of­fers over 2.4 mil­lion eBooks, news­pa­pers, and magazines — one of the largest eRead­ing cata­logues in the world.
  • Read­ers from over 100 coun­tries across the globe down­load and read using Kobo’s top-ranked free eRead­ing ap­plic­a­tions for iPad, iPhone, Black­Berry, An­droid, Win­dows and MacOS.  Kobo is the eRead­ing ap­plic­a­tion of choice for lead­ing tab­let OEMs.
  • While Bor­ders is one of the early in­vestors in Kobo, it holds only a minor­ity stake in Kobo, ap­prox­im­ately 11 per­cent. The Bor­ders shares are sub­ject to the terms of the Kobo share­hold­ers’ agree­ment which, among other things, re­stricts their trans­fer or dis­pos­i­tion.
  • Bor­ders serves as part of Kobo’s dis­tri­bu­tion in the U.S. along with Best Buy, Wal­mart, Sears and other top re­tail­ers.
  • Kobo does not rely on Bor­ders for con­tent.  Kobo owns the pub­lish­ing agree­ments and has dir­ect re­la­tion­ships with all major pub­lish­ers, in­clud­ing Ran­dom House, Simon & Schuster, Har­per­Collins, St. Mar­tin’s Press and many more.  Kobo is solely re­spons­ible for pay­ment to pub­lish­ers for eBooks sold through the Kobo plat­form and pub­lish­ers will con­tinue to be paid on time as usual.
  • For some time, Kobo and Bor­ders have been in the pro­cess of trans­ition­ing Bor­ders’ cus­tom­ers’ eBook ac­counts to Kobo, in order to provide such cus­tom­ers dir­ect ac­cess to the most up-to-date eRead­ing func­tion­al­ity, apps and devices. All Bor­ders cus­tom­ers that have transitioned to Kobo shall enjoy un­in­ter­rup­ted ac­cess to their e-Read­ing ac­counts. Kobo shall con­tinue to work with Bor­ders to trans­ition cus­tomer ac­counts to Kobo.
  • For those Bor­ders cus­tom­ers who haven’t trans­ferred their eBook lib­rar­ies to Kobo, the pro­cess is quick and easy.  Bor­ders cus­tom­ers can visit kobo.​to/​bmigrate to trans­fer their Bor­ders eBook lib­rary to Kobo. No ad­di­tional steps are re­quired to con­tinue read­ing on your Kobo eReader. For those Bor­ders cus­tom­ers that are using Bor­ders apps to ac­cess their eBook lib­rar­ies, visit kobo.​com to down­load a free Kobo eRead­ing app for your com­puter, smart­phone or tab­let.
  • Own­ers of Kobo eRead­ers will con­tinue to use their Kobo eReader as usual, and be able to browse and shop for new titles in the Kobo Store with no in­ter­rup­tion or change in ser­vice.
  • Kobo con­tin­ues to grow in the U.S. and around the world.  Kobo is very pleased with pro­gress of the launch of the new Kobo eReader Touch Edi­tion which is avail­able at lead­ing re­tail­ers in­clud­ing In­digo, Wal­mart, Best Buy and WH Smith.
  • Kobo con­tin­ues to build in­ter­na­tional growth with the suc­cess­ful launch of Kobo in Ger­many, the first rol­lout of sev­eral planned in­ter­na­tional launches.

As an in­ter­ested party in the Bor­ders bank­ruptcy pro­ceed­ings, Kobo has made cer­tain fil­ings with the court to pre­serve its legal rights mov­ing for­ward.

Kobo of­fers their con­tin­ued sup­port to the Bor­ders’ com­munity of em­ploy­ees, fam­il­ies and friends.

State­ment from Mi­chael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo, Inc:
“As one of the early in­vestors in Kobo, Bor­ders has a minor­ity stake in our com­pany and serves as part of our dis­tri­bu­tion in the U.S. along with Wal­mart, Best Buy, Sears and other lead­ing re­tail­ers.  As a mem­ber of the broader book pub­lish­ing and re­tail­ing com­munity, we are watch­ing Bor­ders’ story and will offer our sup­port to Bor­ders and their em­ploy­ees.  Kobo will con­tinue to serve Bor­ders cus­tom­ers – in this time of trans­ition as well as mov­ing for­ward – to provide the ul­ti­mate eRead­ing ex­per­i­ence and one of the widest se­lec­tion of eBooks avail­able to the eRead­ing com­munity world­wide.”