OSLO, Norway — Adevinta ASA today announced a definitive agreement with eBay Inc. to acquire 100 percent of eBay Classifieds Group (“eBay Classifieds”). Related to the transaction, Schibsted will acquire eBay Classifieds’ leading online classifieds businesses DBA.dk and Bilbasen.dk in Denmark.
“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,” Kristin Skogen Lund, CEO of Schibsted, says.
The acquisition will create the largest online classifieds group in the world, with market presence in 20 countries, covering one billion people with three billion visits every month.
“This transaction will imply an amalgamation of two of the most competent and innovative operators of online classifieds services in the world, and is expected to generate material synergies. Additionally, the Adevinta stock is expected to become increasingly attractive for investors, with a significantly larger market capitalization and most likely also increased liquidity over time. Adevinta will, as the world’s largest online classifieds group globally, be equipped to be a leading force in future consolidation of the online classifieds industry,” Skogen Lund says.
Skogen Lund continues: “Schibsted intends to continue to contribute to the value creation for all Adevinta shareholders as a significant long-term anchor shareholder. The reduced ownership stake in Adevinta is consistent with the strategy we communicated when we announced the demerger of Adevinta. We have been open to reducing our ownership stake in Adevinta in case of a truly value creative opportunity, and the acquisition of eBay Classifieds is indeed such an opportunity.”
Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO of Adevinta, says: “With the acquisition of eBay Classifieds Group, Adevinta becomes the largest online classifieds company globally, with a unique portfolio of leading marketplaces 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. This transaction demonstrates we are swiftly executing on the strategy we outlined at our IPO last year, and it brings further diversification through exposure to new markets with high margins and strong growth potential. Our close cultural alignment with eBay will allow us to pursue a shared vision.”
“We are pleased we reached an agreement with Adevinta that brings together two great companies,” said Jamie Iannone, Chief Executive Officer, eBay Inc. “eBay believes strongly in the power of community and connections between people, which has been essential to our Classifieds businesses globally. 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.
Schibsted will, with an ownership stake around 33 percent of the capital and around 39.5 percent of the votes, be represented in Adevinta’s Board of Directors with two representatives.
Closing of the transaction is expected by Q1 2021, and is subject to eBay Classifieds Group Dutch Works Council approval, shareholder approval in Adevinta, and regulatory approvals and customary closing obligations. As part of the transaction, Schibsted ASA and Blommenholm Industrier AS have irrevocably committed to vote in favor of the transaction in Adevinta’s general meeting. Further, Schibsted has entered into customary lock-up arrangements following the acquisition of eBay Classifieds, and agreed not to sell any shares during the first three months. For a period of up to 15 months, after the end of the three months lock-up, Schibsted will be bound by certain restrictions on sales of shares, and for a period of up to 18 months after this, Schibsted and eBay have agreed to mutual tag-along rights, subject to certain exceptions, if either party sells shares, as further detailed in Adevinta’s stock exchange release published today.