EBay Close to Finalizing Sale of Classifieds Unit for $8 Billion

EBay is expected to finalize the sale of its sprawling online classifieds business for $8 billion in cash.
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EBay  (EBAY) - Get Report is expected to finalize the sale of its sprawling classifieds business in a deal that will put more than $8 billion of cash into EBay’s coffers.

Netherlands-based Prosus’s all-cash offer for the unit, which encompasses other online marketplaces including Kijiji and Gumtree, is reportedly set to win approval from eBay’s board, individuals familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Friday.

Prosus has been competing against a private-equity consortium - backed by Blackstone Group, Permira and Hellman & Friedman - as well as another overture from Norwegian online marketplace Adevinta ASA, according to Bloomberg.

Prosus submitted an all-cash offer, while Adevinta’s bid was a mix of cash and stock, Bloomberg said. 

EBay said in February it was in active talks with multiple suitors about a potential deal for its classifieds business as it responded to pressure from activist investors to focus more on its main online marketplace which has been struggling against competition from the likes of Amazon.com  (AMZN) - Get Report.

Since that time, eBay has bolstered its offering to attract more small businesses, in turn piquing interest from investors who have flocked to e-commerce companies  benefitting from consumers’ shift to online shopping amid the global pandemic.

EBay's classifieds business includes a number of online marketplaces separate from the company’s namesake online auction platform. It also owns Bilbasen, a Danish online vehicle marketplace, and British car search website Motors.co.uk.

Earlier this week, Robert W. Baird analyst Colin Sebastian reiterated his outperform rating and $60 price target on eBay, noting in a research note that weekly sales volumes have benefited from the pandemic.

Shares of eBay were down 0.29% at $58.48 in trading on Friday.