twice connect
careers Acquired

7/23/2010 03:05:51 PM Eastern

Aliso Viejo, Calif. - E-commerce pioneer has been bought by Japanese e-tailer Rakuten in an all-cash transaction. will continue as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rakuten, and will maintain its current management team, staff and headquarters, here.

The price tag for the all-cash deal, which closed on July 1, was not released.

Founded in 1997 by chairman Scott Blum and run by president/CEO Neel Grover, the privately-held company nearly succumbed to the tech-sector rout in 2000, but went on to become the second-largest full-line, Web-only retailer after with over 14 million customers.

The company has since added third-party sellers to its retail operation, and expanded its assortment from its core books and CE business to include such categories as travel, apparel, pet supplies, jewelry, healthy and beauty, and household products.

CE sales were $300 million last year according to TWICE estimates, landing in 39th place on the TWICE Top 100 CE Retailers report.

Its new $3.2 billion corporate parent is a leading Asian Internet company whose online shopping mall, Rakuten Ichiba, combines shopping and entertainment, and encourages strong customer relationships with its 33,000 merchants, the company said.

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