EBay EBAY agreed to sell off its classifieds business unit to Norway-based classified ads publisher Adevinta for $9.2 billion in cash and stock.
EBay will receive $2.5 billion in cash and 540 million Adevinta shares, the companies said in a statement. The deal makes eBay a 44% owner of Adevinta with a 33.3% voting stake, reportedly a selling factor to eBay, which wanted to keep a stake in the business.
Adevinta beat out Naspers Ltd.’s Prosus and a private-equity consortium that included Blackstone Group, Permira and Hellman & Friedman, who had also been pursuing the unit, though reportedly at a lower price tag.
EBay's classifieds business includes a number of online marketplaces separate from the company’s namesake online auction platform, including Kijiji, Mobile.de, Gumtree, Marktplaats, and Bilbasen, a Danish online vehicle marketplace. It also owns British car search website Motors.co.uk.
The agreement caps off an auction process that began in February at the urging of activist shareholders including hedge funds Starboard and Elliott Management, which had been pushing eBay to streamline its portfolio and trim assets, including the lucrative classifieds division and also StubHub.
EBay last November announced that it was selling StubHub to Swiss ticket vendor Viagogo for $4.05 billion in cash. It announced in February that it was in active talks with multiple suitors about a potential deal for its classifieds business.
The coronavirus pandemic and consumers’ shift to online shopping has further helped augment eBay over the past few months, piquing interest from investors who have flocked to e-commerce companies.
Shares of eBay were up 0.68% at $58.87 in trading on Tuesday.