SEOUL, June 16 (Reuters) – EBay (EBAY.O) will sell its South Korean business to Shinsegae group retailer E-Mart Inc (139480.KS) and web portal operator Naver (035420.KS) for approximately 4 trillion won ($ 3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.
EBay Korea is the third largest e-commerce company in the country with a market share of around 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the Gmarket, Auction and G9 platforms.
E-Mart said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that it was in discussions with eBay Inc after making a binding offer to acquire eBay Korea this month, but nothing had been finalized.
Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.
Lotte Shopping (023530.KS) was also in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers reported, citing anonymous investment banking sources.
South Korea is the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has skyrocketed to represent 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 from 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.
Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March, taking holdings worth 250 billion won in their respective subsidiaries.
($ 1 = 1,117.7000 won)
Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs
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