EBay Explores Strategic Alternatives for Marketplace in Korea

EBay Inc. is exploring a potential sale of its online marketplace in South Korea, the latest step in a reorganization that has already hived off several units from the main U.S. e-commerce business.

The San Jose, California-based company said it has “initiated a process to explore, review, and evaluate a range of strategic alternatives for its Korea business. The company is considering options that would maximize value for its shareholders and create future growth opportunities for the business.”

EBay enjoyed a boost during the pandemic as shoppers flocked online, but it continued to grow at a slower pace than rivals, including Amazon.com Inc. EBay has 183 million active buyers and about 11% of its annual revenue comes from South Korea.

Chief Executive Officer Jamie Iannone, who took the helm in April, is still trying to show that a slimmed-down EBay can lure customers and get them to spend more on the site. Under pressure from activist investors, EBay last year sold its event-tickets marketplace StubHub to Viagogo for $4.05 billion and its classifieds business to Norway’s Adevinta ASA in a cash-and-stock deal worth $9.2 billion that left EBay with a 44.4% stake in the company.

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