Alibris Inc., an Emeryville, Calif.-based online marketplace for new and used books, has acquired Monsoon, a Portland, Ore.-based marketplace selling solutions company, for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. Oak Hill Capital, which acquired Alibris in 2006, and Square 1 Bank helped finance the transaction.
Alibris Holdings, Inc, owner of Alibris, Inc., the premier online marketplace for sellers of new and used books, music, and movies, announced today that it is acquiring Monsoon, Inc., an Oregon-based marketplace selling solutions company, for a combination of cash and stock in Alibris Holdings. Oak Hill Capital, a private equity firm that acquired Alibris Holdings in 2006, provided funding for the transaction along with additional bank financing from Square 1 Bank. After the merger closes, which is expected by early March, Alibris and Monsoon will continue to operate as separate businesses under their existing names.
“We are excited to be working even more closely with Monsoon,” said Brian Elliott, president and CEO of Alibris Holdings. “Alibris has been focused on driving sales for our network of more than 15,000 independent sellers through Alibris-branded marketplaces and by providing marketplace functionality to leading book, music, and movie retailers. Monsoon provides best-in-class tools and services for sellers listing across multiple marketplaces. We believe that this merger will provide our sellers with unparalleled marketplace exposure, and further opportunities for growth.”
Monsoon Chief Executive Officer Kanth Gopalpur, who will continue as CEO and join the Alibris Holdings executive management team post-transaction, said, “This transaction will provide the combined Monsoon-Alibris customer base with even more opportunities to expand their businesses and increase sales. We will be able to take advantage of additional resources, technology, and capital in order to deliver more and better solutions to grow our customers’ businesses on all online marketplaces.”
Leveraging the best of what each company has to offer, the Monsoon-Alibris merger will broaden sellers’ reach, giving them increased sales potential with the best tools, world-class customer support, and an extensive network of business partnerships, including Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Chapters Indigo, eBay, and Waterstone’s. Monsoon will continue to run as a separate operating company led by Kanth Gopalpur and the Monsoon senior management team. Combined, Alibris and Monsoon managed more than $400 million of book, music, movie, and videogame sales for its sellers in 2009.
“Online sellers recognize the need to manage their presence across all major online shopping destinations. Similarly, traditional retailers recognize that offering a marketplace to their customers provides them with significant selection gains,” said Robert Morse, partner with Oak Hill Capital Partners. “With more than $400 million in annual sales across the Alibris-Monsoon network, the combined company is an important partner for both online sellers and major online shopping destinations. We are committed to supporting the future growth of Alibris and Monsoon.”
Alibris Holdings was advised by the law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati. Monsoon was advised by the law firm Tonkon Torp.
Alibris is the premier online marketplace for sellers of new and used books, music, and movies. We connect people who love books, music, and movies to the best independent sellers from 45 countries worldwide. We offer more than 100 million used, new, and out-of-print titles to consumers, libraries, and retailers, which include Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Borders, and eBay. Alibris was founded in 1998 and acquired by Oak Hill Capital Partners in 2006. For more information, visit http://www.alibris.com/about/aboutus.
Monsoon provides a powerful, scalable online marketplace selling solution that addresses the needs of every type of seller, from the sole proprietor and the pure online merchant, to “bricks-and-mortar” retailers of all sizes. Serving customers worldwide, the company offers end-to-end solutions for the management, processing, pricing, and reporting for successful online selling. Monsoon improves a seller’s bottom line and profit margins by streamlining the online selling experience through process improvement and best practices. The company currently works with customers in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit www.monsoonworks.com.