Ebay to sell South Korean unit for $ 3.1 billion as local rivals target Coupang

Ebay plans to sell its South Korean business for $ 3.1 billion to a local consortium of knowledgeable people as competitors seek to heat up SoftBank-backed Coupang in the world’s fourth-largest market.

The consortium, made up of South Korea’s major brick-and-mortar retailer E-Mart and Naver, plans to buy an 80 percent stake in eBay Korea for $ Won3.5tn ($ 3.1 billion), with the rest retaining the US company. said the people.

Purchasing can help a consortium grow faster Coupang, which raised $ 4.6 billion in New York in March to become the largest player in South Korea’s highly competitive e-commerce market. Japanese technology group SoftBank is a major investor in Coupang.

According to the Euromonitor research group, Ebay Korea was the third largest e-commerce company in the country, with a market share of 13% last year. Its three platforms, Gmarket, Auction և G9, registered Won20tn in transactions last year, according to Meritz Securities.

Euromonitor forecasts that South Korea’s e-commerce market will grow by 11% this year to $ 116 billion. But it is a fragmented market of more than a dozen players, with Coupang և Naver controlling 19 և 14% of the shares, respectively.

South Korea is one of the largest and fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world. E-commerce accounted for 35.8% of the retail market last year, compared to 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor.

E-Mart plans to finance the deal with Won3tn asset-backed loans, with the rest repaid by its cash holding and Naver investing in Won100bn, according to an industry spokesman.

“Despite the funding structure, E-Mart needs Naver to fill weak online networks,” the official said.

Lotte Group և E-Mart colograms were the latest bidders for eBay Korea. Both have struggled to reach Coupang, which is investing heavily in logistics to boost delivery times. Coupang nearly doubled its revenue to $ 12 billion last year as more consumers switched to online shopping during the Covid-19 epidemic.

“Both Lotte and-E-Mart were keen to take over eBay operations, but E-Mart offered more than $ 500 billion,” he added.

Naver is one of the most popular Internet portals in Korea, with more than 40% of B eBay Korea customers accessing it through a former search engine.

Shinsegae, E-Mart’s parent company և Naver, partnered in March to exchange Won250bn bets.

Ebay Korea declined to comment. E-Mart said in a statement that it was in talks with eBay but that the sale was not yet complete. Naver said in separate applications that the deal was not concluded.

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