eBay sells $9bn classifieds to Adevinta, gets 44% stake

Adevinta CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal

San Jose-based eBay has agreed to sell its classified ads business to Norway’s Adevinta in a cash and stock deal worth $9.2 billion that will create the world’s largest classifieds group.

Under the terms of the deal, eBay will receive $2.5 billion in cash and 540 million shares of Adevinta, making it the largest shareholder in the Norwegian firm with a 44% stake and 33.3% of the vote.

The companies said the deal is expected to create estimated annual “synergies” of $150 million to $185 million within the next three years. 

eBay CEO Jamie Iannone said: “This sale creates short-term and long-term value for shareholders and customers, while allowing us to participate in the future potential of the classifieds business.” 

Adevinta CEO Rolv Erik Ryssdal said: “With the acquisition of eBay Classifieds Group, Adevinta becomes the largest online classifieds company globally, with a unique portfolio of leading marketplace brands.

“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.

“We have been impressed with eBay Classifieds Group’s achievements in recent years, leading across markets with nationally recognized brands including Mobile.de, Gumtree, Marktplaats, dba, Bilbasen, Kijiji, 2dehands, 2ememain, Vivanuncios, Automobile.it, Motors.co.uk, Autotrader (Australia), Carsguide (Australia), and eBay Kleinanzeigen, and innovating consistently across its product portfolio and advertising technology platform.” 

The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, including approval by holders of at least two-thirds of the votes cast at an extraordinary general meeting of the stockholders of Adevinta.

Adevinta is majority owned by Nordic media company Schibsted ASA, which has agreed to vote in favor of the transaction. 

Schibsted said the deal means its stake in Adevinta would fall to around 33% from 59%, but it would have 39.5% of votes.

“Schibsted’s Board of Directors and management strongly supports the agreement between Adevinta and eBay, as we are confident that it will further strengthen the value creation potential for Schibsted and the rest of Adevinta’s shareholders,” said Schibsted CEO Kristin Skogen Lund.

“Schibsted intends to continue to contribute to the value creation for all Adevinta shareholders as a significant long-term anchor shareholder.”

Blommenholm Industrier AS, which holds 6.3% of Adevinta’s ordinary shares, has also agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.

Citigroup advised Adevinta, Barclays acted as lead financial advisor to Schibsted, and Goldman Sachs and LionTree advised eBay.