EBay Pursues Buyout Deal in Korea

Online auction giant eBay plans to shell out
approximately $41 million in cash to buyout the remaining shares in
Korea’s Internet Auction Co. (IAC) that it does not already own.

EBay announced the filing of a cash tender offer in Korea to acquire
the remaining publicly held shares from a group of institutional
investors.

The tender period is expected to start on Sept. 14 and run
through Oct. 5, the company said.

In January 2001, eBay spent $120 million to acquire a majority
stake
in Internet Auction Co. Ltd., which is Korea’s largest
auction-style Web site.

Earlier this month, eBay bought
another chunk
of Internet Auction’s shares, bringing its stake up to
about 97 percent.

Once the tender offer closes, eBay plans to have IAC voluntarily
delist from South Korea’s Kosdaq exchange in accordance with legal and
regulatory requirements.

eBay said it does not expect the latest transaction to affect its
financial guidance for the third quarter of 2004 or the full year 2004.

The IAC buyout comes on the heels of an acquisition binge by eBay,
which operates an online auction platform that powers millions of sales
of items globally.

Last month, the company spent $50 million to acquire India’s
Bazee.com and bought a minority
stake
in Craigslist, the popular online trading site that lets users
find anything from jobs to event tickets to dates.

Before that, eBay closed a buyout deal for German auto
classifieds site mobile.de for $149 million, and it shelled out a total of $180
million to gobble
up
China e-commerce play EachNet.

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