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eBay Takes Majority Stake in Korea Auction Co.

[ASIA] Auction giant eBay Inc. Monday announced that it will acquire a majority stake in Internet Auction Co. Ltd., Korea's largest auction Web site, for approximately $120 million.

eBay will purchase "slightly more than 50 percent of the outstanding shares of Internet Auction," in an all-cash transaction, the San Jose, California company said in a statement.

The company will purchase an undisclosed number of Internet Auction shares at 24,000 won (US $19) per share. This represents a slightly greater than 50 percent discount from an October, 2000, Merrill Lynch fair value estimate, which placed the low end of a price-to-earnings-growth (PEG) range at 49,000 won (US $38.78) per share.

Internet Auction Co. will join eBay's Japan site as operations in Asia.

Founded in April, 1998, Internet Auction Co. currently has 2.8 million registered users, eBay said.