|EBay in talks to buy minority stake in Gmarket|
Wednesday August 13, 4:07 pm ET
By Rachel Metz, AP Business Writer
EBay in talks to buy Interpark's stake in S. Korean online marketplace operator Gmarket
NEW YORK (AP) -- The online auction company eBay Inc. said Wednesday it is in talks to buy a minority stake in the South Korean online marketplace operator Gmarket.
The talks are with Interpark Corp. and its chairman, Ki Hyung Lee, who own a combined 37 percent of Gmarket. Yahoo Inc. also owns a stake in Gmarket.
A purchase would mark eBay's latest move to capture the online auction market outside the United States. The company says more than half of its revenue already comes from abroad.
EBay already runs Korean online auction site Internet Auction. EBay's other international auction forays include its ownership of a stake in Buenos Aires, Argentina-based MercadoLibre Inc. and re-entrance to the Japanese market with Yahoo Japan Corp., Yahoo's joint venture with Softbank Corp.
EBay spokesman Jose Mallabo said that no definitive agreement has been reached or signed, but that a voluntary preliminary filing was made with the Korea Fair Trade Commission seeking preliminary approval.
"There can be no assurance that the KFTC will approve the possible transaction, that an agreement will be reached or that a transaction will occur," Mallabo said.
In a June 13 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Gmarket described Interpark as its largest shareholder.
This news was good for a 15% rise