Norway’s Adevinta has agreed a $9.2bn (£7.1bn) deal to acquire eBay’s classified ads group in a move that will create the world’s largest online classifieds business.
The cash plus stock deal, which will see Britain’s Gumtree change hands, will make eBay the largest shareholder in the Norwegian giant.
eBay will receive $2.5bn in cash for its ads group as well as a further 540 million shares, bringing its ownership of Adevinta up to 44pc.
Both companies expect between $150m and $185m of “annual synergies” within the next three years. The blockbuster deal is expected to close by the end of the March.
Adevinta currently operates in 15 countries with 35 different products and websites while eBay’s classifieds covers 12 brands in 13 countries. Among Adevinta’s brands is shopping app Shpock, which operates in the UK. Leboncoin, Olx, and Paycar are also among the Norwegian giant’s best-known brands.
Adevinta chief executive Rolv Erik Ryssdal said the company was “impressed” by eBay’s achievements in recent years and cited its ownership of Gumtree, German brand Mobile.de, and Canadian site Kijiji.
“With the acquisition of eBay Classifieds Group, Adevinta becomes the largest online classifieds company globally, with a unique portfolio of leading marketplace brands,” he said. “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.”
eBay chief executive Jamie Iannone said the sale creates “short-term and long-term value for shareholders and customers”.
The sale is subject to approval and at least two thirds of Adevinta shareholders have to vote in favour of the agreement for it to pass.
Adevinta is majority owned by Norwegian multinational Shibsted, which owns the likes of Swedish daily paper Aftonbladet and price comparison site PriceSpy.
Schibsted chief executive Kristin Skogen Lund said the board “strongly supports” the eBay deal.
Separately, Schibsted has also agreed a deal with Adevinta to acquire eBay Classifieds’ Danish entity.