Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which owns Bakkt and the New York Stock Exchange, could acquire eBay.
In fact, according to the Wall Street Journal, ICE would be ready to invest $30 billion towards the acquisition of the renowned marketplace, although no formal talks have yet taken place between the two companies.
ICE has issued a statement on the matter in which it specifies that eBay has not “engaged in any meaningful way” in relation to the proposal. However, it officially confirms that it has contacted eBay:
“to explore a range of potential opportunities that might create value for the shareholders of both companies”.
It then added:
“We are not in negotiations regarding the sale of all or part of eBay”.
ICE’s goal would be to explore potential opportunities that could offer greater value for its shareholders, but there may also be deeper and more structural reasons for this acquisition endeavour.
Indeed, according to the Wall Street Journal, the company would actually be interested in getting its hands on eBay’s core business, the marketplace, which connects sellers with buyers.
eBay has been under pressure for some time now, mainly due to Amazon’s fierce competition. The company has been listed on the stock exchange since 1998 and its current market capitalization is about $30 billion, not surprisingly the amount that ICE would be ready to invest.
Its main rival, Amazon, landed on the stock exchange the previous year but is now worth more than $1 trillion. It is very likely that the Intercontinental Exchange is very interested in these numbers.
ICE has been chasing after eBay for some time, without success, which means there is no guarantee that the deal will go through.
Moreover, the same ICE shares have lost more than 7% since yesterday, which makes it clear that the markets have not particularly appreciated this initiative by ICE.
The stock of eBay, on the other hand, has increased by 8% compared to yesterday, making it clear that, according to the markets, this operation could benefit eBay’s shareholders more than those of ICE.
Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano commented:
“WHOA. The owner of the New York Stock Exchange is thinking about taking over eBay at a valuation of more than $30 billion. This is the same company that realized the importance of Bitcoin enough to start Bakkt. Would be incredible to combine NYSE, Bakkt, & eBay under one roof”.