eBay Korea bidding seen attracting the retail biggiesBig-name bidders are believed to be carefully weighing how much to offer on the eve of bidding for eBay Korea, as the deal is expected to bring a seismic change to the local retail industry, industry sources said Sunday.
Most of the preliminary bidders are expected to attend the bidding Monday, including SK Telecom; Lotte Group, Emart, and MBK Partners, a private equity firm and the largest shareholder Homeplus, retail market observers said.
A consortium of multiple bidders is also a possibility, they said, amid rumors that Emart and Naver will lodge a bid together as they strengthened their business ties in March through a 250 billion-won ($221 million) share swap.
The eBay Korea deal has drawn keen attention from the retail industry ever since the company first announced the M&A deal in January this year. The Monday bidding marks the second attempt by eBay Korea, with the first having fallen through in mid-May as the company anticipated a higher price.
eBay Korea is known to be hoping for at least 5 trillion won for the deal, while bidders think the bottom price is too high, considering the coronavirus-hit economic environment and the potential extra costs after the deal.
"eBay Korea may be tempting for its ample experience and profitability, but 5 trillion won may be an overreach," an informed retail industry source said.
eBay is the No. 2 e-commerce player in the United States, with about 11 percent of its revenue coming from Korea. eBay Korea has about 12 percent of Korea's e-commerce market after Naver's 18 percent and Coupang 13 percent.