eBay sells US$2.25b Adevinta stake to secure classified ads tie-up

[OSLO] EBay has agreed to sell part of its stake in Norway's Adevinta to private equity firm Permira for US$2.25 billion in cash, clearing the way for a tie-up between eBay and Adevinta's classified ads businesses.

The deal comes after Austria's Federal Competition Authority demanded eBay cut its holding in Adevinta to no more than 33 per cent to approve their plan to create a world leader in classified ads.

Approval in Austria, which had raised concerns about the impact on competition in its market, was the last regulatory hurdle for the tie-up.

"The transaction announced today with Permira provides a clear path to satisfying this commitment, while delivering value to eBay shareholders," the US e-commerce giant said on Wednesday.

eBay will sell 125 million Adevinta shares, or a 10.2 per cent stake, to Permira, leaving the US company with a 34 per cent holding.

Permira has a 30-day option to buy an additional 10 million shares at the same price, reducing eBay's stake to 33 per cent.

Last year, Adevinta agreed to buy eBay's Classifieds Group in return for US$2.5 billion in cash and 540 million shares, valuing the transaction at about US$13 billion at current stock market prices.

Media company Schibsted, which had a majority stake in Adevinta after spinning off the unit in 2019 and holds 33 per cent following the deal with eBay, said it welcomed the transaction.

The deal between eBay and Permira is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, Adevinta said.

Permira advises funds with total committed capital of approximately 44 billion euros (S$70.29 billion) and Permira partner Dipan Patel will join Adevinta's board of directors, it added.

Shares in Adevinta were up 1 per cent to 177.50 crowns at 8.03am GMT.


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