×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

EBay May Sell or Spin Off StubHub Ticketing Unit at Urging of Activist Investors

Responding to pressure from activist investors, eBay announced that it has initiated a strategic review of its assets — which may include the sale or spinoff of its StubHub ticket-resale unit.

The ecommerce company also said it is evaluating options for the eBay Classifieds Group. EBay announced the review after activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which acquired more than 4% interest in eBay in January, urged the company to divest StubHub and the classifieds group, arguing in a letter to management that the assets were undervalued. Starboard Value, another activist investor group that holds a 1% stake in eBay, made a similar appeal.

StubHub claims to be the world’s largest ticket marketplace with tickets available for over 10 million live sports, music and theatrer events in more than 40 countries. StubHub was acquired by eBay in 2007 for $310 million.

For the fourth quarter of 2018, StubHub had revenue of $314 million, up 2% year-over-year, on gross ticket sales of $1.41 billion (down 2%). EBay’s Classifieds platforms posted revenue of $263 million for the period, while its core Marketplace business generated $2.3 billion in revenue.

Also Friday, eBay named Jesse Cohn, Elliott Management’s head of U.S. equity activism, and Marvell Technology president and CEO Matt Murphy to its board. The company also announced that it plans to add a third new independent director later in the year.

Devin Wenig, president and CEO of eBay, said the company decided to move forward with the changes after meeting with shareholders over the last two months. “The bottom line is that we all share common ground: we see tremendous opportunity ahead and want to see eBay’s full potential realized over the long-term,” Wenig said in a statement. “The initiatives we are announcing today are the result of this constructive dialogue.”

In a Jan. 22 letter to eBay’s board, Elliott’s Cohn claimed that strategic changes by eBay could increase its value 75%-100% from its current stock price. “StubHub and eBay’s portfolio of Classifieds properties represent high-value, strategic assets that are worth meaningfully more than the value currently being ascribed to them as part of eBay,” the letter said in part. Cohn also recommended other changes, including “revitalizing” eBay’s Marketplace is after “prolonged, self-inflicted misexecution” and cutting costs to increase operational efficiency.

More Digital

  • Lauren Dolgen Exits as BuzzFeed Studios

    Lauren Dolgen Exits as BuzzFeed Studios Boss After a Year

    Veteran TV producer Lauren Dolgen has departed as head of BuzzFeed Studios after one year in the job. BuzzFeed had hired Dolgen, a longtime MTV producer who worked on shows including “Teen Mom” and “16 and Pregnant,” as head of BuzzFeed Studios to oversee the company’s slate of original content. Based in L.A., she had [...]

  • Snap-Derek-Andersen-Lara-Sweet

    Snap Fills Out Senior Ranks With CFO, HR Chief Appointments

    Snap CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel has turned in house to fill the company’s CFO and head of human resources positions, completing an overhaul of the Snapchat parent’s executive ranks after a series of high-level departures. The company announced the appointment of Derek Andersen, currently Snap’s VP of finance, as chief financial officer. Andersen will [...]

  • Oculus Quest Gets Netflix App, But

    Oculus Quest Will Have Netflix, but Not Plex or HBO

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is launching with a number of high-profile gaming titles this Tuesday. Media apps on the other hand will take a bit of backseat, with some key players sitting this latest headset out for the time being. First, the good news for anyone who has pre-ordered the headset: One of the [...]

  • Lester Holt

    Chris Berend Tapped to Oversee NBC News' Digital Efforts

    Chris Berend, an executive who has been overseeing digital video for CNN and helped launch Great Big Story, a streaming-video site aimed at younger audiences, will jump to NBC News to lead its digital efforts. Berend will replace Nick Ascheim, who will move into a new role that is described as “improving digital and product [...]

  • Vogue, Conde Nast Entertainment Make Robert

    Robert Semmer Joins Condé Nast Entertainment & Vogue as Vice President of Video

    Condé Nast Entertainment and Vogue have named former Vice and Fader video executive Robert Semmer as their new vice president of video. Semmer will be based in New York and report to Croi McNamara, senior vice president of programming for Condé Nast Entertainment. “Anna and I are thrilled to welcome Robert to our award-winning video [...]

  • CEO of T-Mobile John Legere (L)

    FCC Chairman Backs T-Mobile, Sprint Merger With New Conditions

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gave a thumbs-up to T-Mobile and Sprint’s proposed $26 billion merger, after the companies committed to enhanced 5G buildout commitments and agreed to spin off Sprint’s Boost Mobile. T-Mobile and Sprint first announced their plans to merge in April 2018, looking to combine forces to take on industry leaders AT&T and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content