Intercontinental Exchange Has Approached eBay For ‘Potential Opportunities’

By Amit Chowdhry ● Feb 5, 2020
  • New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has approached eBay “to explore a range of potential opportunities”

New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has approached eBay “to explore a range of potential opportunities that might create value for the shareholders of both companies.” eBay has not engaged with ICE as of yet and the companies are not in negotiations regarding the sale of all or part of eBay.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that ICE made an offer to take over eBay in a deal that would value the online auction company at more than $30 billion.

This was not the first time that ICE talked to eBay about a sale. It is rumored that ICE wants to take over eBay’s core marketplace. And ICE does not have an interest in the company’s classifieds arm. It is believed that eBay’s classifieds unit can be sold for more than $10 billion alone. ICE may want to use its own technology for connecting buyers and sellers to eBay.

Starboard Value sent eBay a letter recently suggesting that the company sell off its online classifieds arm. eBay’s sale of Stubhub for $4.05 billion was largely driven by Starboard’s pressure.

“The eBay Board of Directors includes a director jointly nominated and agreed upon with Starboard, a representative of one of our largest shareholders, Elliott Management, and other strong, experienced and independent directors. The Board and eBay’s management team are aligned in their commitment to taking all appropriate steps to drive the value of the Company. Our Board and management team have implemented changes based on investor input and have taken significant actions to deliver long-term shareholder value and strengthen the business. Through that lens, we will review Starboard’s letter and perspectives as we continue to rigorously review our business and opportunities for growth and value creation,” said eBay in response to Starboard’s letter.