The Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE:ICE), one of the world’s largest derivatives and equities trading firms, has reportedly made giant online marketplace eBay a takeover offer that could value the company at well over $30 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The companies have not yet held formal discussions, the Journal’s report clarified.
ICE’s management issued a statement after the release of this report in which it mentioned that eBay had not engaged in “any meaningful way,” referring to the business opportunities ICE had tried to negotiate with them.
“We are not in negotiations regarding the sale of all or part of eBay.”
Atlanta-headquartered ICE has tried to approach Ebay for the deal on several occasions, according to The Journal’s report. The transaction, if finalized, could value eBay above its present market capitalization of $28 billion. The firm’s stock surged 10% following the report. ICE subsidiaries include the world’s largest stock exchange, the New York Stock Exchange, with a market cap of nearly $23 trillion, and the recently-launched digital asset trading desk, Bakkt.
In March 2019, Germany-based publishing house Axel Springer had also made an offer to eBay, however, the deal never actually materialized. The online marketplace’s classified business reportedly earned $269 million in Q4 revenue, which is up 3% as reported and 6% on an FX-Neutral basis.
Starboard Value, an activist investor group, had also sent eBay a letter noting that the company should consider selling its online classified unit. Starboard played a key role in convincing eBay to sell StubHub (a San Francisco-based ticket exchange and resale firm) in 2019 at a price of around $4 billion.