British retail chain Tesco acquired e-book provider Mobcast for 4.5 million GBP, which translates into $7.15 million. The move is part of Tesco’s digital efforts to reach customers on their computers and mobile devices. To that end, the company also acquired streaming music service provider We7 in June, and movie service BlinkBox in April 2011.
At the moment, Tesco doesn’t offer its own e-book reader and as far as we know that will stay the case. However, they do want a slice of the growing e-book market pie. Even though Tesco has stores in 13 countries, the digital-book service would only be available in the U.K.
Mobcast’s CEO Tony Lynch is also pleased with the deal, saying that this sort of exit has always been part of the plan. “I had to build a brand,” he said. “That meant £50 million or being bought by someone.”
Mobcast was set up in 2007 by Tony Lynch and “Andy McNab,” a former U.K. special-forces soldier and author of the bestseller Bravo Two Zero, written under a pseudonym. It offers a “white label” platform in few countries, including the UK, US, Singapore, Germany, France and Spain.