EBay Sells StubHub To Ticket Retailer Viagogo For More Than $4B
EBay and online ticket marketplace Viagogo have entered into an agreement for eBay to sell StubHub to Viagogo for $4.05B in cash. Viagogo Founder & CEO Eric Baker also co-founded StubHub, but left before the business was sold to eBay in '07 for $310M (Viagogo). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Lombardo & Driebusch note StubHub accounted for about 14% of eBay's revenue in Q3. eBay "decided to explore selling StubHub shortly after two activist investors surfaced in January and urged it to exit businesses unrelated to its core marketplace." Viagogo is a "significant player internationally, while StubHub is mostly present in the U.S." (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/25). CNBC.com's Elly Cosgrove noted the sale is "expected to close" by the end of Q1 in '20. When combined, StubHub and Viagogo "will sell tickets across more than 70 countries" (CNBC.com, 11/25). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Tim Bradshaw notes while gross merchandise volumes reached $4.8B last year, making up about 5% of eBay’s total, the division’s "annual growth slowed" to 5% in '18 (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/25).
MAKING THE DEAL: Baker said acquiring StubHub had been “something we’d been thinking about for a long time.” Baker: “The opportunity to combine the two and have true global coverage just made too much sense.” He said, “We wanted to make sure ... that fans should be able to buy any tickets for any event anywhere in the world in their language, their currency. We should give sellers of tickets and content owners access to consumers globally so they can reach them. Viagogo has great distribution outside the United States, and StubHub’s got great distribution inside the United States. You put them together, you fulfill the global vision.” Baker added, “I remember before even starting StubHub the difficulty in getting access to a ticket. You actually had people on the street corners. Now it’s just going to get easier and easier for people to choose what they want, see what they want when they want to see it” (“Squawk on the Street,” CNBC, 11/25).