ICE Confirms it Approached eBay to Explore Potential Opportunities

The exchange operator said it is not in negotiations regarding the sale with eBay.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has reportedly approached American multinational e-commerce corporation eBay to discuss a takeover.

The news was originally reported by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, which cites people familiar with the matter, and ICE later confirmed itself that it had approached eBay to explore potential opportunities.

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Specifically, the WSJ revealed that the exchange operator had approached the e-commerce company previously and has recently done so again, in a deal that may value eBay at more than $30 billion dollars.

Since the news outlet reported the potential acquisition, shares of eBay Inc. soared by 9.5 percent in afternoon trading. It is important to point out that eBay and the owner of NYSE aren’t in formal talks, and the e-commerce firm could reject the offer.

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As the WSJ highlighted, if a deal were to be agreed upon, it would be big. This is because eBay’s market value is more than $28 million, and the company would likely have to pay a large premium.

According to the people familiar with the matter, ICE is mainly interested in owning the core marketplace business of eBay, and not its classified unit, which the company has been considering selling.

ICE responds to media reports

After the news outlet released its article, ICE issued a statement which said: “ICE approached eBay to explore a range of potential opportunities that might create value for the shareholders of both companies. eBay has not engaged in a meaningful way. We are not in negotiations regarding the sale of all or part of eBay.

“Over ICE’s 20-year history, the company’s track record of creating shareholder value, both through organic growth and acquisitions, speaks for itself. ICE does look to explore potential opportunities that it expects will deliver enhanced shareholder value, and will continue to do so in the future.”

Although eBay’s shares surged following the news, it appears shareholders of ICE weren’t as eager, with ICE closing down 7.5 percent.

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