Kobo set to acquire Aquafadas and expand its rich media offerings

Kobo adds magazines, academic texts, comics and children's books to library

Kobo Glo

E-reader maker Kobo announced today intentions to acquire digital publishing company Aquafadas.

The deal will bring the Japanese-owned e-reader company a vast treasure trove of rich media content such as magazines, academic texts, comics and children's books, among other works. It will also add tools to Kobo's self-publishing infrastructure as well as several languages.

"Digital Reading is rapidly evolving now to new rich media categories," Michael Serbinis, Kobo CEO, said in a press release. "This transaction will strengthen both Kobo and Aquafadas' position in our current markets and allow us to accelerate the growth of rich media with the Aquafadas Digital Publishing system."

Aquafadas is a French-based digital publishing company that helps users self-publish content, especially onto tablets and smartphones. The publisher also helms popular digital comic distributor AveComics, which will be added to Kobo's haul.

More tools, more languages and more e-readers

The deal will also bolster Kobo's self-publishing offerings. Not only does it add Aquafadas' publishing tools and channels, but languages such as German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch for users to write in and distribute.

Kobo used the announcement to highlight a new partnership with New Zealand publishers Booksellers NZ and The Paper Plus Group, which will bring Kobo's e-readers to hundreds of NZ book retailers.

All the announcements come as Kobo is poised to release three new e-reader devices within the month: the Kobo Mini, Kobo glo and the Kobo Arc.

The Kobo Mini is a 5-inch portable e-ink reader for $79.99 (£49.97). The Kobo Glo is a 6-inch e-ink glow in the dark e-reader costing $129.99 (£81.21). Both will come out in October.

The Kobo Arc is a 7-inch multimedia tablet with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich meant for watching TV, movies and reading. The Arc can also record video with its 1.3MP camera, and has a built in mic and front-facing speaker. It runs $199.99 (£124.94)/$249.99 (£156.18) for the 8GB/16GB models and is slated to come out in November.

Via Engadget