eBay to buy Germany's shopping club brands4friends for $200 million

Online retail giant eBay today said announced plans to buy Germany's largest online shopping club brands4friends, for €150 million ($200 million) in cash, in a move aimed at strengthening its fashion position in Europe.

Brands4friends, which claims to have 4.5 million members globally, sells high-quality goods from renowned fashion and lifestyle brands at significantly reduced prices exclusively to its members through limited special offers on a daily basis.

With 3.5 million members in Germany and the rest in Austria, the UK and Japan, Berlin-based brands4friends offers on a daily basis of high-quality products from more than 600 manufacturers, including international fashion brands such as Buffalo, Calvin Klein and Diesel.

The company is backed by venture capital firms that include US-based Partech International, Luxembourg-based Mangrove Capital Partners and Germany's Holtzbrinck Ventures.

Founded in 2007, the company raised over €10 million in third-round of funding in November 2008.

As part of the acquisition deal, eBay will assume brands4friends' equity interests in UK shopping club SecretSales.com and Japan's brands4friends.