Adevinta will acquire eBay Classifieds for a headline value of approximately USD 9.2 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, eBay shall receive USD 2.5 billion in cash and approximately 540 million shares of Adevinta, representing a 44 percent stake in pro forma Adevinta (the “combined entity”). Adevinta will issue to eBay (i) voting shares representing approximately 33.3 percent of the total voting rights, and (ii) new class of non-voting shares for the remainder of its 44 percent stake. The transaction implies that Schibsted’s ownership stake in Adevinta will decrease from 59 percent to approximately 33 percent.
“Schibsted’s Board of Directors and management strongly supports the agreement between Adevinta and eBay, as we are confident that it will further strengthen the value creation potential for Schibsted and the rest of Adevinta’s shareholders,” Kristin Skogen Lund, CEO of Schibsted, says.
The acquisition will create the largest online classifieds group in the world, with market presence in 20 countries, covering one billion people with three billion visits every month.
“This transaction will imply an amalgamation of two of the most competent and innovative operators of online classifieds services in the world, and is expected to generate material synergies. Additionally, the Adevinta stock is expected to become increasingly attractive for investors, with a significantly larger market capitalization and most likely also increased liquidity over time. Adevinta will, as the world’s largest online classifieds group globally, be equipped to be a leading force in future consolidation of the online classifieds industry,” Skogen Lund says.
Skogen Lund continues: “Schibsted intends to continue to contribute to the value creation for all Adevinta shareholders as a significant long-term anchor shareholder. The reduced ownership stake in Adevinta is consistent with the strategy we communicated when we announced the demerger of Adevinta. We have been open to reducing our ownership stake in Adevinta in case of a truly value creative opportunity, and the acquisition of eBay Classifieds is indeed such an opportunity.”
Rolv Erik Ryssdal, CEO of Adevinta, says: “With the acquisition of eBay Classifieds Group, Adevinta becomes the largest online classifieds company globally, with a unique portfolio of leading marketplaces brands. We believe the combination of the two companies, with their complementary businesses, creates one of the most exciting and compelling equity stories in the online classifieds sector. This transaction demonstrates we are swiftly executing on the strategy we outlined at our IPO last year, and it brings further diversification through exposure to new markets with high margins and strong growth potential. Our close cultural alignment with eBay will allow us to pursue a shared vision.”
“We are pleased we reached an agreement with Adevinta that brings together two great companies,” said Jamie Iannone, Chief Executive Officer, eBay Inc. “eBay believes strongly in the power of community and connections between people, which has been essential to our Classifieds businesses globally. This sale creates short-term and long-term value for shareholders and customers, while allowing us to participate in the future potential of the classifieds business.
Schibsted will, with an ownership stake around 33 percent of the capital and around 39.5 percent of the votes, be represented in Adevinta’s Board of Directors with two representatives.
Closing of the transaction is expected by Q1 2021, and is subject to eBay Classifieds Group Dutch Works Council approval, shareholder approval in Adevinta, and regulatory approvals and customary closing obligations. As part of the transaction, Schibsted ASA and Blommenholm Industrier AS have irrevocably committed to vote in favor of the transaction in Adevinta’s general meeting. Further, Schibsted has entered into customary lock-up arrangements following the acquisition of eBay Classifieds, and agreed not to sell any shares during the first three months. For a period of up to 15 months, after the end of the three months lock-up, Schibsted will be bound by certain restrictions on sales of shares, and for a period of up to 18 months after this, Schibsted and eBay have agreed to mutual tag-along rights, subject to certain exceptions, if either party sells shares, as further detailed in Adevinta’s stock exchange release published today.
Schibsted acquires the Danish operations of eBay Classifieds
Schibsted has entered into an agreement with Adevinta to acquire eBay Classifieds’ leading classifieds business in Denmark, DBA.dk and Bilbasen.dk.
“We have looked closely at Denmark for some time, and taking over Bilbasen.dk and DBA.dk, is a unique opportunity for Schibsted to obtain access to this digitally advanced and attractive market for online classifieds,” Kristin Skogen Lund says.
“With the acquisition of eBay Classifieds’ Danish operations, we are adding a strong online classifieds business with solid margins to our portfolio, and at the same time we include into our family a very competent group of employees and attractive and well-known brands. We strongly believe that we can utilize the experience and knowledge of our new Danish colleagues in the rest of the Nordics and vice versa. At the same time, it increases our scale to build and roll out next generation marketplaces across the Nordics,” Christian Printzell Halvorsen, EVP Nordic Marketplaces in Schibsted, says.
On 16 July, Schibsted announced the acquisition of Oikotie, a leading online classifieds business for jobs and real estate in Finland. This means that Schibsted is expanding its online classifieds position in the Nordics, taking the driver’s seat in Norway, Sweden, Finland and now Denmark. With the transactions in Finland and Denmark, Schibsted’s Nordic Marketplaces covers a population of around 26 million, and is significantly strengthening the medium- and long-term growth potential for the company.
eBay Classifieds holds strong positions in Denmark. DBA.dk is the leading generalist online classifieds site. Bilbasen.dk is the leading player in motor, and Bilinfo is the preferred dealer management system in Denmark, serving as a strong link between Bilbasen.dk and the car dealers. In total, eBay Classifieds’ Danish services receive around 32 million visits per month (average 2019).
In 2019, eBay Classifieds Denmark had revenues of around USD 53 million (2018: around USD 50 million) and an EBITDA of around USD 25 million (2018: around USD 23 million). Certain central services not accounted for in eBay Classifieds Denmark’s P&L are estimated to be USD 9-10 million per year. The agreement values eBay Classifieds Denmark at USD 330 million on an enterprise value basis.
Schibsted’s acquisition of eBay Classifieds’ Danish operations will be financed through a bridge loan with up to three years maturity, committed by a consortium of some of our core banks. We have simultaneously received a pre-consent for a temporary waiver of our financial covenant for our existing financing. The acquisition will increase our financial gearing, but we have the clear goal to reduce NIBD/EBITDA back again to within the target range of 1-3. The bridge loan will be paid down primarily through a future disposal of Adevinta shares.
Advisors to Schibsted, Adevinta and eBay
Barclays has been lead financial advisor to Schibsted, Arctic Securities has been advisor to the Board of Directors and the company. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Wiersholm have been legal advisors.
Citigroup acted as financial advisors to Adevinta. Skadden and Bahr provided corporate legal counsel, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton provided antitrust counsel.
Goldman Sachs and LionTree were financial advisors to eBay. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz provided corporate legal counsel, and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan provided antitrust counsel.
Conference call for investors and analysts
Schibsted will host a conference call related to the transaction on 21 July 2020 at 11:30 CET. The dial-in information will be made available on schibsted.com/ir/.
Reference is made to Adevinta’s and eBay’s stock exchange announcement which was published today.
This information is subject to the disclosure requirements of section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.
Contact for investors and analysts:
+47 917 91 752
Head of IR
+47 941 00 835
Marie de Scobiac
Head of Investor Relations
+33 6 14 65 77 40
Contact for media:
Director, Head of Schibsted Group Communications
+47 415 05 645
+33 6 84 30 52 76
eBay Classifieds Group
Every day, Schibsted helps millions of people buy, sell, hire and get hired. The company’s mission is to create perfect matches through our trusted marketplaces and innovative solutions. With Blocket in Sweden, Finn in Norway and Tori and Oikotie in Finland, Schibsted meets consumer needs with leading marketplaces. Schibsted wants to help people make better deals, while partnering with companies to help them make the most of their businesses.
Schibsted has the mind of a start-up and the heart of an established company that has stood on its own feet since 1839. The company owns a family of international consumer brands with over 5,000 employees.
Adevinta is a global online classifieds specialist, operating digital marketplaces in 15 countries. The company provides technology-based services to connect buyers with sellers and to facilitate transactions, from job offers to real estate, cars, consumer goods and more. Adevinta’s portfolio spans 35 digital products and websites, attracting 1.5 billion average monthly visits. Leading brands include top-ranked leboncoin in France, InfoJobs and Milanuncios in Spain, and 50 percent of fast-growing OLX Brazil. Adevinta spun off from Schibsted ASA and publicly listed in Oslo, Norway in 2019. Adevinta employs 4,700 people committed to supporting users and customers daily. Find out more at Adevinta.com.
eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) is a global commerce leader including the Marketplace and Classifieds platforms. We connect millions of buyers and sellers around the world, empowering people and creating opportunity for all. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, California, eBay is one of the world’s largest and most vibrant marketplaces for discovering great value and unique selection. For more information about the company and its global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.
Oslo, 21 July 2020