EBay is in advanced talks to sell its classified advertising business to Norway’s Adevinta, and the online auction pioneer is seeking to refocus on its core market,media reported. If the talks do not break down, the cash-plus-stock deal could be announced as early as Monday, according to people familiar with the matter.
Some people familiar with the matter said that while the price of the deal was not known, the eBay subsidiary was expected to sell for as much as $8bn or more.
San Jose, California-based eBay was once an ambitious internet conglomerate with brands such as PayPal and StubHub. Under pressure from activist investors, the company has been removing the structure, which it believes masks eBay’s value. Classified ads are one of the last businesses left by the company after it announced last year the sale of its StubHub ticketing division.
EBay’s classified advertising business is reported to be mainly in Canada, parts of Europe, Africa, Australia and Mexico. The platform allows users to publish goods and services in local communities, similar to Craigslist in the United States. Last year, the division generated $1.1 billion in revenue, compared with $7.6 billion for all of its market operations. EBay has been seeking to sell the unit since around February, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Adevinta, a Norwegian company, oversees the digital market in 16 countries, with large markets in parts of Europe, South America and Mexico. Adevinta will clearly expand its presence in Germany through the acquisition of eBay. Germany is one of Europe’s largest economies, according to the company’s website, but Adevinta’s current operations in Germany do not dominate. Adevinta is understood to have beaten a private equity consortium and Prosus NV to get the deal.