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South Korean retail firms Lotte and Shinsegae bid for EBay Korea

EBay Korea could fetch its US parent $4.5 billion. Image: Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

South Korean retailers Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Group entered separate binding bids for EBay’s South Korean business, the retailers’ spokesmen said today.

EBay Korea – South Korea’s third-largest e-commerce firm with a 12.8-per-cent market share last year, according to Euromonitor – is on sale for what EBay hopes could be up to US$4.5 billion, analysts said.

The retailers’ spokesmen declined to comment on the terms of their bids. An EBay Korea spokeswoman also declined to comment.

Local retail giants Lotte and Shinsegae have struggled to catch up to leading competitors like South Korea’s No. 1 e-commerce firm Coupang in the fast-growing online shopping sector, especially after the onset of Covid-19.

South Korea’s online shopping transactions were worth $145 billion won last year, accounting for a record 27.2 per cent of total retail transactions, up from 21.4 per cent in 2019.

  • Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue, of Reuters.

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