eBay has announced that it is selling its classifieds business to Norway-based marketplace operator Adevinta in a cash and stock deal worth $9.2 billion. The confirmation comes shortly after rumors had abounded that a deal was imminent.
The transaction, which is expected to close in early 2021, will make eBay Adevinta’s largest shareholder, receiving $2.5 billion in cash and 540 million shares in Adevinta, which completed a $6 billion IPO last April after spinning out as a standalone entity from media company Schibsted. Before now, Adevinta operated online marketplaces in around 15 countries including France, Brazil, and the U.K., and stated that its mission was to grow through mergers and acquisitions across the Americas, Africa, and Europe.
From eBay’s perspective, offloading its classifieds business represents the latest step in a long process that has seen the company streamline through selling various components of its business. Five years ago, eBay spun its PayPal subsidiary into a standalone company after a long and contentious feud with activist investor Carl Icahn. PayPal now has a market cap of $210 billion, roughly 5 times that of its former parent company. And late last year, eBay sold its StubHub ticketing business for more than $4 billion, after Elliott Management — which owns around 4% of eBay — publicly campaigned for the company to further separate its various units.
Aside from eBay’s core marketplace for which it is best known, the other main arm of eBay’s business is its classifieds unit, which operates under various brands globally such as Gumtree in the U.K., Kijiji in Canada and Italy, and Marktplaats in the Netherlands. Together with Adevinta, eBay said that the new combined classifieds group will operate across 20 markets with 3 billion monthly visits.
When the deal closes next year, eBay will attain a 33.3% voting stake in Adevinta.
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