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EBay to Sell Korean Unit For About $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

Outside a Shinsegae department store in Daegu, South Korea
Outside a Shinsegae department store in Daegu, South Korea. Shutterstock.

EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group’s E-Mart Inc and web portal operator Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8 percent in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

E-Mart said in a regulatory filing on Wednesday that it was talking with eBay Inc after entering a binding bid for acquiring eBay Korea this month, but that nothing had been finalised.

Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8 percent of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6 percent in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs and Gerry Doyle

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