Kobo may have powered Borders’ e-bookstore, but it’s not going down with the liquidating bookseller‘s ship. Kobo today released a long statement to “clarify misconceptions about Kobo that have been inaccurately reported by the media and misunderstood by consumers.”
Borders and Kobo announced an expanded partnership just back in May–rather, Borders spun it as an expanded partnership, but it actually included the rebranding of the Borders e-bookstore and Borders e-reading app under Kobo’s name.
Here’s the full statement; emphasis ours:
KOBO COMMENTS ON BORDERS’ LIQUIDATION
TORONTO–July 19, 2011–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 e-books, newspapers, and magazines — one of the largest e-reading catalogues in the world.
–Readers from over 100 countries across the globe download and read using Kobo’s top-ranked e-reading 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 (NYSE: CBS), 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 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.”
About Kobo, Inc.
Kobo is a global eReading service with more than 2.4 million eBooks, magazines and newspapers – one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world. Kobo believes consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device and has attracted millions of readers from over 100 countries across the globe. Kobo has top ranked eReading applications for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows and MacOS, and is the eReading application of choice for leading tablet OEMs. The Kobo Wireless eReader and the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition are available at leading retailers, including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy and WH Smith. Kobo’s innovative Reading Life is an industry-first comprehensive social eReading experience – Kobo users can earn awards simply for time spent reading and encouraging others. Kobo is backed by majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music Inc, Cheung Kong Holdings, and institutional investors.