Nor­way’s Adev­inta snaps up eBay ads group in £7bn deal

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By

Michael Cog­ley

NOR­WAY’S Adev­inta has agreed a $9.2bn (£7.1bn) deal to ac­quire eBay’s clas­si­fied ad­ver­tise­ments group in a move that will cre­ate the world’s largest on­line classified­s busi­ness.

The cash plus stock deal, which will see Bri­tain’s Gumtree change hands, will make eBay the largest share­holder in the Nor­we­gian gi­ant. eBay will re­ceive $2.5bn in cash for its ads group as well as a fur­ther 540m shares, bring­ing its own­er­ship of Adev­inta up to 44pc.

Both com­pa­nies ex­pect be­tween $150m and $185m of “an­nual syn­er­gies” within the next three years. The block­buster deal is ex­pected to close by the end of the March.

Adev­inta cur­rently op­er­ates in 15 coun­tries with 35 dif­fer­ent prod­ucts and web­sites while eBay’s classified­s cov­ers 12 brands in 13 coun­tries. Among Adev­inta’s brands is shop­ping app Sh­pock, which op­er­ates in the UK. Le­bon­coin, Olx, and Pay­car are also among the Nor­we­gian gi­ant’s best­known brands.

Rolv Erik Ryss­dal, Adev­inta chief ex­ec­u­tive said the com­pany was “im­pressed” by eBay’s achieve­ments in re­cent years and cited its own­er­ship of Gumtree, Ger­man brand Mo­, and Cana­dian site Ki­jiji.

“With the ac­qui­si­tion of eBay Classified­s Group, Adev­inta be­comes the largest on­line classified­s com­pany glob­ally, with a unique port­fo­lio of lead­ing mar­ket­place brands,” he said. “We be­lieve the com­bi­na­tion of the two com­pa­nies, with their com­ple­men­tary busi­nesses, cre­ates one of the most ex­cit­ing and com­pelling eq­uity sto­ries in the on­line classified­s sec­tor.”

Jamie Ian­none, eBay chief said the sale cre­ates “short-term and long-term value for share­hold­ers and cus­tomers”.

The sale is sub­ject to ap­proval and at least two thirds of Adev­inta share­hold­ers have to vote in favour.

Adev­inta is ma­jor­ity owned by Shib­sted, which owns the likes of Swedish daily pa­per Afton­bladet and price com­par­i­son site PriceSpy.

Rolv Erik Ryss­dal said the deal had made Adev­inta the world’s largest on­line classified­s com­pany

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