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eBay acquires Brands4Friends

German private Sales retailer Brands4Friends has been acquired by auction site eBay for US$200m (£128.5m). As a result of the deal, eBay has assumed the German firm’s interest in UK site www.SecretSales.com and pumped more cash into the UK business.

EBay said the acquisition would help boost its position as a leading online fashion destination in Europe.

“We want to give our customers the best possible fashion experience online,” said Doug McCallum, senior vice president for eBay in Europe.

Brands4Friends, which trades at www.brands4friends.de, has approximately 3.5 million members in Germany. It has held Sales of more than 600 brands since it was founded in 2007.

“With the acquisition of Brands4Friends, we will enter the online shopping club market with an established and dynamic partner who has the expertise, relationships and passion to match our own ambition. We expect many eBay customers will enjoy great deals on international fashion brands by joining the brands4friends community,” added McCallum.

Brands4Friends, which has an annual turnover of E80m (£66m) in Germany, became the majority shareholder in UK-based private sales site SecretSales.com in August of this year after a multi-million pound investment deal.

eBay has assumed Brands4Friends’ equity interests in SecretSales.com as a result of the Brands4Friends deal. It has also injected an undisclosed amount into the UK business following the deal.

Sergio Dias, chairman of Secretsales.com and chief executive of Brands4Friends said: “We’ve been impressed with the lengths that the Secretsales.com team have come in such a short period of time. We look forward to seeing continued success in the UK in 2011.”

Secretsales.com will continue to be led by its founders, Michael Cody and Silvia Cody and Sach Kukadia and Nish Kukadia.

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval among other conditions, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011.

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