eBay announced Monday that it plans to sell its StubHub business to Swiss ticketing provider Viagogo for $4.05 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of next year, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
Viagogo CEO Eric Baker, who co-founded ticketing company StubHub while attending business school, said in an interview that he had “differences” with partners before eBay bought StubHub for $310million in 2007 “And left the company. Baker remains a shareholder in the company after leaving StubHub, but has no say in whether to sell the company to eBay.
“If I had made up my mind, I wouldn’t have bought the company back because I would never have sold it, but in the end it was all settled.” Baker said.
Mr Baker said he had been thinking about the issue for some time. “It’s really important to have that opportunity to merge the two companies and really reach the world. He said.
A StubHub spokesman said in a statement: “Eric clearly sees a strong opportunity for both companies that the merger will bring. He founded StubHub 19 years ago, and he was so passionate about the company that he organized his own human and financial resources to buy it back. He spared no effort in the company, which is great for the future development of the company. “
After the merger is completed, StubHub and Viagogo will sell tickets in more than 70 countries. “It will allow fans to seamlessly access a wider range of ticketing options around the world, and will enable sellers, teams and artists to reach a wider global audience more effectively,” the deal statement said. “
EBay and Viagogo spokesmen said the two companies could operate independently for a while to allow executives to study the best way to integrate their businesses.
“The combined company of StubHub and Viagogo will be efficient and can reinvest in innovation activities. An eBay spokesman said.
The two companies said they had no plans to change leadership.
Mr. Baker did not specify how Viagogo would pay for the $4.05 billion cash offer. For now, Viagogo has a debt financing commitment from JPMorgan Chase, according tomedia reports.
eBay will use the proceeds from the deal for share buybacks, dividend payments and mergers and acquisitions, scott Schenkel, interim CEO, said in an interview.
In July, it was reported that eBay was pushing ahead with plans to sell StubHub. It comes after eBay announced on March 1st that it was conducting a strategic review of its business portfolio.
“Over the past few months, eBay’s leadership team and board of directors have been conducting a comprehensive assessment of our current strategy and business mix,” Mr. Schenkel said in a press release Monday. We concluded that this was the best way forward for eBay and StubHub. “