Ebay to sell classified ads unit to Adevinta for nearly $9 billion – source

The German headquarters of online marketplace eBay is pictured south of Berlin in Kleinmachnow, Germany

Norwegian group Adevinta has won the auction to buy U.S. e-commerce firm EBay Inc’s classified-ads unit for nearly $9 billion, a source familiar with the matter told us on Monday.

EBay intends to keep a minority stake in the business following the close of the deal, the source said.

Activist investors Elliott Management Corp and Starboard Value had been pushing Ebay to sell the unit.

The deal comes at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has boosted demand for online market places as consumers turned to online shopping due to prolonged lockdowns and social distancing measures in most countries.

Ebay’s classified business includes brands such as Gumtree and Kijiji and offers online ads to more than 1,000 cities around the world.

The unit posted an operating income of $83 million and revenue of $248 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Last week we reported that the U.S. e-commerce giant had offers submitted by online retailer Prosus, a private equity consortium and Adevinta.

EBay did not immediately respond to our request for comment, while a spokesman for Adevinta declined to comment.

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