reached a tentative agreement to buy a controlling stake in
, South Korea's largest online auction service by revenue and market share, for $24 a share, the
Wall Street Journal
reports, citing a source.
eBay and the sellers of the 34.2% stake in Gmarket -- Interpark Corp. and its Chairman Lee Ki-hyong -- are expected to sign off on the deal Thursday after the boards of the companies meet, the
Representatives of eBay and Interpark declined to comment for the
The price is a 24% premium to Gmarket's closing price Tuesday of $19.34.
The stock rose sharply earlier this week on a report from online newspaper
that eBay would buy the 34.2% stake in Gmarket for $24 a share, or $413 million.
With the deal, eBay would become the largest player in the South Korean electronic commerce market. An eBay subsidiary, Internet Auction, already operates the second-largest auction Web site in South Korea, according to the