Tuesday, March 29, 2011

eBay to Acquire GSI Commerce

Now here is some rather big news...

eBay has agreed to acquire for about US$2.4 billion GSI Commerce, whose suite of eCommerce and digital marketing tools and services are expected to boost eBay's online marketplace and PayPal e-payment businesses.

King of Prussia, PA-based GSI Commerce processes online payments, fulfills orders, and manages customer service for direct commerce clients such as Timberland, Kate Spade and Ralph Lauren.

eBay has offered to pay $29.25 per share and expects the deal to close in this year's third quarter, after obtaining regulatory and GSI Commerce shareholder approval, the company said on Monday. The merger consideration represents a 51 percent premium over GSI’s March 25, 2011, closing price and a 47 percent premium over the average closing price of GSI Commerce common stock over the 30 trading days prior to March 28, 2011.

GSI Commerce's products and technology "will significantly strengthen our ability to connect buyers and sellers worldwide," eBay CEO and President John Donahoe said in a statement.

A new holding company led by GSI founder and CEO Michael Rubin will absorb parts of the company eBay isn't interested in and will divest, including 100 percent of GSI's licensed sports merchandise business and 70 percent of ShopRunner and Rue La La. The holding company will receive a $467 million loan from eBay, which will retain a 30 percent stake in Rue La La and ShopRunner.

Through May 6 GSI Commerce can entertain competing acquisition proposals, and, if any surface, those will only be made public if the GSI board of directors acts on what it considers a better offer. eBay would then have a right to match the competing offer.

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