eBay has officially transferred its classified ads business to a Norwegian firm for $9.2 billion in cash and stock.
Under terms of the sale, initially announced in July 2020, Norway-based global online classifieds specialist Adevinta will pay eBay $2.5 billion in cash and a 44% equity stake in Adevinta, equivalent to approximately 540 million shares, for a total value of about $9.2 billion. Adevinta operates digital marketplaces in 16 countries.
"We are pleased to finalize the deal between Adevinta and eBay Classifieds, where the combination of these two companies will create a leading global online classifieds business," said Jamie Iannone, CEO, eBay. "By joining Adevinta, the eBay classifieds' business has an enormous opportunity ahead. We are optimistic that the breadth of talent and collective experience across the combined portfolio will offer additional value for our customers, employees and shareholders."
The deal will allow eBay to concentrate on its core marketplace business. The company had been under pressure from activist investors to sell its non-core assets. In November 2019, eBay sold its StubHub online ticket resale unit to Viagogo, a Swiss online ticket marketplace, for $4.05 billion.
With this transfer complete, eBay is updating its capital allocation plans for 2021 by increasing its estimated share buyback from $2 billion to $5 billion. The company has agreed to reduce its ownership stake in Adevinta to 33% or less over the next 18 months, as part of remedies it proposed to resolve competition concerns raised by Austrian regulatory authorities.