Thursday, June 4, 2009

e-book deals heat up

M&A activity may have cooled off overall, but remains hot in select sectors. Take e-books, for example.

This month, Prime View International signed a definitive agreement to acquire E Ink Corporation for $215 million in cash. Prime View has been E Ink's largest customer and uses E Ink technology in making the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader. Prime View is now in control of more pieces of the e-reader solution stack.

In March, Barnes & Noble acquired Fictionwise, a publisher and distributor of e-books using various PCs and handheld device formats. The purchase price was $15.7 million in cash. The deals helps position Barnes & Noble in the e-book market as it competes with as a distributor of digital content. Fictionwise also has a content-provider relationship with Plastic Logic, which has announced its own plans to release an e-reader later in 2009.