The transaction, which is expected to close in early 2021, will include $2.5 billion in cash and 540 million shares, making eBay Adevinta’s largest shareholder. In April, Adevinta completed a $6 billion IPO after spinning out from media company Schibsted. Adevinta already operates online marketplaces in around 15 countries, including France, Brazil, and the U.K., and has previously stated its intention to grow through mergers and acquisitions across the Americas, Africa, and Europe.
For eBay, offloading its classifieds business is the latest move in a long campaign to streamline. Five years ago, eBay spun off 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. 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.
Beyond eBay’s core marketplace, its main business has been its classifieds unit, which operates under various brands globally, including Gumtree in the U.K., Kijiji in Canada and Italy, and Marktplaats in the Netherlands. With Adevinta, eBay said 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.