E-mart To Acquire 80% of eBay's Korean Businesses for $3 Billion

Kimberly Redmond  |

Video source: YouTube, Arirang News

E-Mart Inc announced Thursday it plans to acquire an 80.01% stake in eBay Inc’s South Korean business for 3.4 trillion won ($3 billion).

Jamie Iannone, eBay’s chief executive officer, said in a statement, “This deal brings together two strong e-commerce and retail companies that can unlock tremendous potential in Korea and provide more choice for customers.”

“We believe this move further optimizes our portfolio and creates value for eBay shareholders,” said Iannone.

The transaction is expected to close by the beginning of 2022.

eBay Korea operates three platforms — Gmarket, Auction and G9 — and is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with a market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to research group Euromonitor


Until 2015, eBay Korea was the leading e-commerce company in South Korea, but transaction growth began to slow due to increased competition from SoftBank Group-backed Coupang.  

Founded in 1993 by the department store group Shinsegae, E-Mart is South Korea’s largest retail chain, though it has struggled to become a strong presence in online shopping.

South Korea’s e-commerce market — among the world’s largest and fastest-growing digital marketplaces — is forecasted to grow 11% this year to $116 billion, according to Euromonitor. 

Coupang and Naver Corporation control 19% and 14% of the market, respectively, in transaction volume.

Naver, which had initially teamed up with E-Mart in the bidding process for eBay's South Korean business, said earlier this week it had dropped its partial bid. 


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