E-commerce firm Mercari Inc. announced Tuesday it has taken a controlling stake in J-League first-division club Kashima Antlers.

The company behind the Mercari marketplace app reportedly paid 1.6 billion yen ($14.75 million) to obtain the 61.6 percent shareholding previously held by Nippon Steel.

Antlers, the reigning Asian champions, are the most successful club since the founding of the J-League with eight J1 titles.

The club, launched by Nippon Steel predecessor Sumitomo Metal Industries in 1991, will keep their home base in Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture.