EBay weighs on the sale of businesses after the pressure of activist investors



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The e-commerce company announced Friday that it was embarking on a strategic review of its assets, including the StubHub ticket sales site and the Classifieds group, after being subjected to pressure from activist investors who wanted to sell or sell these properties.
EBay (EBAY) also adds to its board of directors two directors, including Jesse Cohn, of Elliott Management, a hedge fund that unveiled a 4% stake in the company in January and has come to claim changes.
Devin Wenig, President and CEO of eBay, said in a statement Friday that these measures are the result of "two months" of dialogue between the company and investors.

"The bottom line is that we all share a common ground: we see tremendous opportunities ahead and want to see the full potential of eBay come to fruition in the long run," Wenig said.

Last month, eBay announced a restructuring that would consolidate various regional market units within a global management team.

In its announcement Friday, eBay pointed out that there was no guarantee that the strategic review would lead to a sale or split of its commercial properties. EBay plans to announce the results of this review at an event this fall.

Even if it ended up placating investors by unloading assets, some analysts question the magnitude of the turnaround in activity, faced with a loss of relevance and long-standing prestige.

"EBay has been losing to e-commerce for many years," says Ygal Arounian, eBay's eBay analyst for Wedbush. "Amazon (AMZN) did a good job moving them and nudging them. "

The best scenario, he says, is that the sale of StubHub and the classifieds business leads to a financial windfall, which can then be reinvested to help improve eBay's key product market.

"Just selling these companies does not automatically solve their bigger problem, namely that their activity in the market has not kept pace," said Arounian.

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