eBay sells its South Korean business for $3.6bn

Photo: AP

The e-commerce giant eBay has decided to sell its business in South Korea for a total of 3.6 billion dollars, Reuters reported. Buyers are two companies – the retailer Shinsegae Group's E-Mart and the web portal operator Naver. eBay is Korea's third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% based on estimates related to 2020 by Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

E-Mart said in a regulatory filing that it was talking with eBay after entering a binding bid for acquiring eBay Korea this month, but that nothing had been finalised. Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment on the negitiations.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources. South Korea represents the world's fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other's affiliates.

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