eBay Classifieds Group Completes Acquisition of Cox Australia Media Solutions

eBay

eBay completes the acquisition of Cox Australia Media Solutions, which operates CarsGuide.com.au and Autotrader.com.au, and will become part of the eBay Classifieds Group.

The deal, which combines the strength of Gumtree, CarsGuide.com.au and Autotrader.com.au, will create an attractive car-buying platform for Australian consumers.

By harnessing their collective strengths, the acquisition will create a comprehensive automotive ecosystem for Australian dealers providing more reach, insights and tools.

The three brands will maintain their own unique buyer-facing experience, and the joint proposition will deliver a seamless car-buying experience for consumers and more value for our dealer partners.

Together, Autotrader.com.au, which has about 2,300 dealers and approximately 90,000 listings, and Gumtree, which has approximately 1,800 dealers and about 80,000 private-party listings, provide a compelling car-buying offering and enable Gumtree to develop a more competitive and attractive platform for Australian consumers.

“This acquisition is an important part of eBay Classifieds Group’s verticalization strategy in the automotive market, following our successful acquisition of Motors.co.uk in the United Kingdom earlier this year. Gumtree is already an established player in the Australian private sales market, and the addition of CarsGuide.com.au and Autotrader.com.au will make our offerings even more compelling by giving Australian consumers and dealers more reach and choice in market.”

 

Alessandro Coppo, Senior Vice President and General Manager, eBay Classifieds Group

The acquisition was initially announced in December 2019, but it took nearly six months to complete the transaction.

eBay Classifieds Group is Up For Sale

Last year, eBay’s board was effectively forced into a strategic review process of its business portfolio by several activist investment firms that believed the company needed to raise shareholder value by eliminating “side businesses” and refocus on its core marketplace.

eBay sold StubHub in 2019, one of two business units identified as potential sales by the activist investors, but the sale of the Classifieds Group remained on the table.

While eBay never officially announced a bidder list or even acknowledged bidding rounds for the classifieds business unit, financial news outlets have reported updates on the process citing sources familiar with the matter.

It is believed there are at least four bidders or interested parties for the eBay Classifieds Group with the first bidding round apparently due about two weeks ago.

  • Axel Springer, the German media group backed by U.S. private equity company KKR & Co. Inc.
  • Naspers, the South African ecommerce group.
  • Adevinta, a Norwegian classifieds group which owns the Shpock platform.
  • PE Group, a private investment group comprised of Hellman & Friedman, Blackstone, and Permira.

Previously, financial analysts believed the eBay Classifieds Group could fetch around $10 billion, but those estimates were voiced before the coronavirus pandemic impacted the global economy.

The completion of the Australia Cox Media may speed up the process of selling the eBay Classifieds Group as it finalizes an outstanding transaction that adds value to the business unit.

Indeed, many eBay sellers would welcome a full focus on the core marketplace, especially with a new CEO at the helm.

Note: eBay Motors is not part of the eBay Classifieds Group but is considered part of the eBay core marketplace business.

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