The unit specializes in developing and managing ecommerce sites for retailers that are looking to re-create their real-world business on the Internet.
In the announcement earlier today, eBay said it’s selling the arm to a consortium consisting of Sterling Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm; Longview Asset Management, a Europe-based asset-management company; Innotrac, a U.S.-based ecommerce fulfillment company; and undisclosed companies owned by global investment fund Permira.
Though eBay is better known for its consumer-facing ecommerce site, the company has offered the enterprise-focused services for a while. Indeed, the Internet giant acquired GSI Commerce in 2011 for $2.4 billion, and was rebranded as eBay Enterprise two years later. Today’s news effectively means eBay is selling the business for $1.5 billion less than what it paid four years ago.
Interestingly, one of the consortium members, Innotrac, entered a merger agreement with GSI Commerce back in 2009, but the deal was subsequently cancelled before it could be completed.
The timing of today’s news is also notable, as it comes the day before eBay officially spins out PayPal as a separate company, with PayPal beginning trading on Nasdaq next Monday.