E-commerce site Mercari buys majority stake in J-League’s Kashima Antlers

Japanese e-commerce company Mercari has purchased a majority stake in J-League club Kashima Antlers.

Mercari announced they bought 61.6 per cent of the club for $14.4m (€13m) from founding owners Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, who will still own 11 per cent of the club. The J-League’s board approved the deal on Tuesday.

“We’re excited about being able to support the management of a leading soccer club in Japan,” Mercari chief operating officer Fumiaki Koizumi said, according to Nippon.com.

He added that the acquisition would help Mercari expand its customer base. Mercari has been a sponsor of Kashima Antlers since 2017.

Mercari, founded in 2013, debuted on the Tokyo Stock Exchange last year, and are best known for a smartphone application that allows people to trade used items online, similar to Ebay and Carousell .