eBay sells off classified ads business

Norway’s Adevinta has bought eBay’s classified advertisements business to create the world’s biggest online classifieds group. 

Norway’s Adevinta has bought eBay’s classified advertisements business for $9.2bn (£7.1bn), says Michael Cogley in The Daily Telegraph – creating the world’s biggest online classifieds group. 

While Adevinta will pay $2.5bn of the purchase price in cash, the rest will come in the form of shares, making eBay Adevinta’s largest shareholder with a 44% stake. The hope is that by adding eBay Classified’s 12 brands in 13 countries to Adevinta’s 35 products in 15 countries, the Norwegian giant will be able to find savings of between $150m and $185m in “annual synergies”. The deal already seems to be paying off, say Richard Milne and Arash Massoudi in the Financial Times. Shares in Adevinta “rose by more than a third” shortly after it was announced, which for eBay lifted the paper value of the deal by “more than $2bn”. 

This vindicates eBay’s CEO, James Iannone (pictured), who convinced directors at the weekend that the American e-commerce group should “retain exposure” to the classified advertisements business instead of acceptinga slightly lower all-cash offer of $9bn from its Dutch rival Prosus.

Iannone seems to have negotiated a “good valuation” for a business that’s “slower-growing than peers”, says Liam Proud on Breakingviews. However, it’s harder to see what Adevinta gets from it. 

For instance, to achieve a 10% return on this investment, it will need to boost operating profit from last year’s $420m to $1.1bn – a big ask, “even if the pandemic boosts the number of people selling goods such as wardrobes online”.

Recommended

The British equity market is shrinking
Stockmarkets

The British equity market is shrinking

British startups are abandoning public stockmarkets and turning to deep-pocketed Silicon Valley venture capitalists for their investment needs.
8 Nov 2019
I wish I knew what a share was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask
Too embarrassed to ask

I wish I knew what a share was, but I’m too embarrassed to ask

When people talk about investing, they often refer to putting money into “shares”, or buying “stocks and shares”. But what is a share anyway?
28 Oct 2020
Robin Geffen: dividend cuts aren't all down to Covid
Stockmarkets

Robin Geffen: dividend cuts aren't all down to Covid

The seeds of recent dividend cuts and cancellations were sowed many years ago, says veteran investor Robin Geffen.
25 Oct 2020
Dividend payments will take a long time to recover
Income investing

Dividend payments will take a long time to recover

Companies are gradually resuming dividend payouts, but we can expect only a modest rebound in 2021, says Cris Sholto Heaton.
25 Oct 2020

Most Popular

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm
Bitcoin

The Bank of England should create a "Bitpound" digital currency and take the world by storm

The Bank of England could win the race to create a respectable digital currency if it moves quickly, says Matthew Lynn.
18 Oct 2020
Don’t miss this bus: take a bet on National Express
Trading

Don’t miss this bus: take a bet on National Express

Bus operator National Express is cheap, robust and ideally placed to ride the recovery. Matthew Partridge explains how traders can play it.
19 Oct 2020
Three stocks that can cope with Covid-19
Share tips

Three stocks that can cope with Covid-19

Professional investor Zehrid Osmani of the Martin Currie Global Portfolio Trust, picks three stocks that he thinks should be able to weather the coron…
12 Oct 2020