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eBay May Be Prepping Korean Subsidiary For Sale

eBay might be selling its South Korea marketplace, eBay Korea, in another step in the reorganization already dividing up the U.S. eCommerce market, Bloomberg reported.

eBay said it had “initiated a process to explore, review and evaluate a range of strategic alternatives for its Korea business,” Bloomberg reported. “The company is considering options that would maximize value for its shareholders and create future growth opportunities for the business.”

The company, originally founded in San Francisco, saw more use amid the pandemic as consumers flocked to the internet to do the bulk of their shopping. However, it couldn’t keep pace with rivals like Amazon, and has had to make cuts to its business under pressure from investors, Bloomberg reported.

Last year, it ended up selling StubHub, its events tickets marketplace, for $4.05 billion to Viagogo. It also sold its classifieds business to Norway-based Adevinta in a cash-and-stock deal worth $9.2 billion, which left eBay with 44.4 percent of stock in the company, Bloomberg reported.

But CEO Jamie Iannone is looking to show that eBay’s slimmed-down presence can still be formidable, Bloomberg reported. The company still has 183 million active buyers. The South Korea business makes up around 11 percent of the company’s annual revenue.

PYMNTS reported that eBay wanted to sell off its South Korean unit last year. The unit includes GMarket, one of the country’s biggest online marketplaces. A local newspaper reported last year that eBay intended to sell 100 percent of its stake in GMarket.

eBay acquired GMarket in 2009 for about $1.2 billion. The company then merged it with Internet Auction, another South Korean company. At that time, the companies comprised 87 percent of South Korea’s consumer-to-consumer market and over 30 percent of the online shopping mall market.

Some of the prospective buyers of eBay Korea include Lotte Shopping, Shinsegae or Hyundai Department Store Group, according to the PYMNTS report.

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