Chun Hang-il assumed the role of CEO at EBay Korea today. The appointment comes amid rumors that EBay Inc. was weighing a $4.5 billion deal that would allow the company to exit the South Korean market.
The speculation is based on an EBay’s announcement on Wednesday that it had “initiated a process to explore, review and evaluate a range of strategic alternatives for its Korea business.”
“The company is considering options that would maximize value for its shareholders and create future growth opportunities for the business,” EBay said in a news release.
The company said it would not make any further comments “until the board has approved a course of action requiring disclosure.”
EBay Korea operates b-to-c and c-to-c marketplaces, including Auction.co.kr, GMarket.co.kr, and G9.co.kr. In 2009, the group paid $1.2 billion for GMarket’s majority shareholding.
EBay’s Korea segment fetched the company a whopping 1.95 trillion won ($1.7 billion U.S.) in sales revenue during 2019, while operating profit amounted to 61.5 billion won.
The business selloff could earn the group 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion), KoreaJoongAng Daily reported local media outlets as estimating. Lotte, Shinsegae and Hyundai Department were named as potential buyers.
The selloff expectation can take cue from a precedence of Adevinta already having acquired EBay Classifieds Group in a $9.2 billion deal last year.
New country manager
Chun replaced the CEO Byun Kwang-yun, who had led the company since 2013, according to KoreaHerald.
Chun joined the EBay Korea in 2003 and was promoted to the position of sales director in 2016. He also remained head of the group’s Japan business.