eBay is to acquire the 50% of its Australia and New Zealand site that it doesn’t already own. The company will pay ecorp US$65 million for its 50% stake in the joint venture. The sale is subject only to approval by Australia’s Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB). The purchase is expected to close in September or October of 2002.
ecorp Chief Executive Officer Ms Alison Deans and Mr Matt Bannick, Senior Vice President, International of eBay said the decision to restructure the joint venture was a key milestone in the successful development of eBay Australia and New Zealand over the past three years.
The change in ownership is a reflection of the evolving needs of the business as it enters a new stage in its lifecycle, and is also consistent with the development plans of both partners, they said.
Ms Deans added: We have enjoyed a close working partnership with eBay over the last three years, and have great respect for the brands, technology and management systems that it has brought to this partnership.
These capabilities, together with ecorp’s local knowledge, marketing and promotion, have provided a potent combination that has enabled eBay Australia and New Zealand to grow into a successful business with strong financial performance, leadership position and growth trajectory.
The sale price confirms the success of this partnership in establishing a valuable business in Australia and reinforces ecorp’s track record in building Internet-based businesses.
Mr Bannick of eBay said: The success of eBay Australia and New Zealand is a result of the complementary strengths of eBay and ecorp. eBay’s business model and ecorp’s business-building expertise, combined with marketing and promotion across PBL’s media properties, have enabled us to create one of the most popular e-commerce sites in the region. Buying the business outright will also enable us to bring it more in line with our other international businesses as part of our overall strategy to build a global online marketplace.
In addition, eBay has agreed to expand, on a five-year basis, its marketing relationship with Australia’s leading Internet portal ninemsn, which is jointly owned by ecorp and Microsoft Corp.
The purchase of ecorp’s equity interest in eBay Australia and New Zealand is expected to close in September or October of 2002.