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Shinsegae’s Emart acquires eBay Korea in $3 bil deal Second biggest retail deal in Korea after MBK’s $6.3 bil takeover of Homeplus in 2015

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2021-06-28 07:36:01

이 기사는 2021년 06월 28일 07:23 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Shinsegae Group’s Emart has agreed to buy eBay Korea, which operates open market platforms Gmarket and Auction, in the biggest retail deal in South Korea in years.

The supermarket chain said in a filing on Thursday that it was about to sign a deal to purchase an 80.01% stake in eBay Korea from its parent eBay Inc for about 3.44 trillion won ($3 billion). The US company will retain the remaining stake.

Ebay Inc, which put its South Korean operations up for sale earlier this year, reportedly wanted a 5 trillion won valuation initially. The high price tag reduced interest from potential buyers at the beginning of the sale process. But the mood changed completely as ecommerce giant Coupang’s New York listing in March heated up the competition among industry players to get a bigger slice in the market.

Two traditional retail giants Shinsegae and Lotte competed in the bidding process, and Shinsegae ultimately became the winner after Lotte decided to pull out. The agreed purchase price represents a total equity value of about 4.3 trillion won.

The planned acquisition is the second biggest to date in South Korea’s retail sector after private equity firm MBK Partners’ 2015 takeover of Homeplus from UK retailer Tesco. The deal valued the supermarket chain at about 7.39 trillion won including debt.

Other notable retail deals in recent years include Affinity Equity Partners and BlueRun Ventures’ 1 trillion won investment in Shinsegae’s SSG.com in 2018. Under the agreement with the conglomerate, the private equity firms first put 700 billion won into SSG.com in March 2019. The rest will be injected after 2-3 years, with a target of taking the ecommerce platform public in five years.

In the same year, SK Telecom’s 11st also raised 500 billion won from H&Q, which gave the private equity firm about an 18% stake in the open market platform. Large limited partners, including the National Pension Service and the Korean Federation of Community Credit Cooperatives, participated in the firm’s fund used for the investment.

Kurly, known for its overnight grocery delivery service, recently raised 220 billion won from financial investors in a pre-initial public offering round, which valued the company at 2 trillion won. (Reporting by Hee-yeon Han)
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