Swedish audiobook streaming company Storytel today announced that it has agreed to acquire Audiobooks.com from KKR to enter the U.S. market.
Storytel said the acquisition will be financed through existing funds and a newly issued 500 million Swedish crown ($57.26 million) loan facility. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Storytel currently has more than 1.7 million subscribers worldwide, operations in 25 markets and a vast library of more than 700,000 titles and 30+ languages on a global scale.
“I have been impressed by Audiobooks.com’s success, expertise and experience in the U.S. market, as well as across the UK and Australia. Audiobooks.com is a growing profitable business with a consumer and partnership friendly approach that offers Storytel a new platform for growth. I am now looking forward to working with our teams, publishers and partners to make audiobook listening as popular on the English speaking markets as it has become in recent years in the Nordics.“ says Jonas Tellander, CEO and founder of Storytel.
Launched in 2011, Audiobooks.com offers a content catalog of 300,000 audiobooks from hundreds of publishing partners. Storytel’s acquisition of Audiobooks.com lays the foundations for the company’s expansion into English-language markets. With millions of app downloads across the App Store and Google Play and integrations with Alexa, Sonos, CarPlay, and Android Auto, it has a strong presence in the U.S. audiobook market.
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“I am proud of the success that the Audiobooks.com team has achieved, positioning the company as one of the leading U.S. services for audiobooks. With Storytel, we join a group with an aligned vision and values that offer a solid base and global scale to address a market of hundreds of millions English-speaking consumers,” says Ian Small, General Manager at Audiobooks.com, who will remain in his position following the acquisition. “With the combined industry expertise of Storytel and Audiobooks.com, we will continue to fuel the passion and interest of the English-speaking audiences and take our service to the next level.”
The deal is expected to close at the end of December 2021, subject to customary regulatory approvals.