eBay is looking to sell its South Korean unit. This includes Gmarket, one of the largest online marketplaces in the country. A Seoul-based newspaper reports the company is looking for a $5 billion deal.
The Korea Economic Daily cites an unnamed industry official. It is reported that eBay decided to sell 100% of its stake in eBay Korea. Possible buyers include South Korean retail giants such as Lotte Shopping, Sinsegae, and Hyundai Department Store Group. Other buyer-targets are private equity funds, such as MBK, South Korean’s largest private equity firm.
So far, eBay has not confirmed its official plan. eBay bought Gmarket in 2009 for up to $1.2 billion. It combined it with its South Korean unit. At that time, the company accounted for 87% of the country’s online C2C-market. It also accounted for more than 30% of the web shopping mall market. Recently, Gmarket faces heavy new competition, including Softbank-backed startup Coupang. This company now has the largest e-commerce market share, according to the Sout Korea B2C E-commerce Market 2019 report.