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EBay says it’s in talks on deal for classifieds business

Jillian Ward
Bloomberg

EBay Inc. said it’s in active talks with multiple parties about a potential transaction for its classified-ads business, responding to pressure from activist investors to improve its performance by focusing on its main online marketplace.

The San Jose, California-based company, which has been conducting a broader strategic review of its businesses, said it will have an update on the process by the middle of the year. Dow Jones reported earlier Friday that EBay was taking steps toward a sale of the classifieds unit.

EBay Inc. said it’s in active talks with multiple parties about a potential transaction for its classified-ads business

“EBay’s Board and management are committed to driving significant returns to shareholders by maximizing the value of Classifieds and positioning our Marketplace business for long-term success,” interim Chief Executive Officer Scott Schenkel said in a statement. “We are acting with urgency while focusing on the ultimate objective of maximizing the value of Classifieds.”

In November, the company announced the sale of ticket marketplace StubHub to European rival Viagogo for $4.05 billion in cash. Activists Starboard Value and Elliott Management Corp. last year proposed a plan to improve EBay’s performance, including a sale of StubHub and the classifieds business.