Changes leave eBay, PayPal more open to takeover bids

Changes leave eBay, PayPal more open to takeover bids

22 JAN 2015

eBay announced a number of corporate governance changes that could make itself and its PayPal unit more attractive takeover targets when they are spun off later this year.

In addition, the company announced 2,400 job cuts, or 7 per cent of its workforce, and is now looking to spin off another part of the business called eBay Enterprise, which helps retailers with their e-commerce strategies.

eBay also reached agreement with activist investor Carl Icahn to add a colleague of his to the company’s board. Icahn was first to push for a PayPal spinoff.

Among the governance changes, investors holding 20 per cent of PayPal’s shares can call for a special meeting. Also the payments firm’s entire board will be elected on an annual basis.

A spinoff of PayPal will leave it open to M&A offers from other players in the mobile payments sector.

According to Financial Times, Google, Amazon and Facebook are considered by bankers as potential buyers of PayPal, with the high-profile launch of Apple Pay at the end of last year acting as a potential prompt for a bid.

Overall, eBay revenue rose 9 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014 to $4.92 billion. Within this total, eBay’s core marketplace unit saw a 1 per cent increase in revenue to $2.33 billion. Meanwhile, PayPal reported an 18 per cent jump in revenue to $2.16 billion.

Revenue at the Enterprise division grew 9 per cent to $443 million.

Overall, eBay’s net income increased to $936 million from $850 million a year earlier.

Author

Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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