SAN JOSE, Calif. & SEOUL, South Korea--(BUSINESS WIRE)--eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY) and Young Bae Ku, the founder of Gmarket, Korea’s leading e-commerce company acquired by eBay in 2009, today announced a joint venture agreement to expand Gmarket’s existing online marketplaces in Japan and Singapore. The agreement will strengthen eBay’s presence in Japan and Singapore – where the e-commerce markets are expected to grow by 30% and 13% respectively between 2009 and 2012—and provide a foundation for longer term expansion of Gmarket into other Asian markets.
“eBay’s partnership with Young Bae Ku combines his expertise in Asia and Gmarket’s proven Korean online marketplace model to enhance our long-term position and growth in the region,” said Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay Marketplaces. “This joint venture is a sign of our continued commitment to help grow and lead ecommerce across Asia by offering more opportunities for sellers and extraordinary buying experiences for consumers.”
Upon the launch of the new joint venture, Mr. Ku will be chief executive officer for the new entity and will drive the vision for Gmarket’s future growth and expansion in the Asian market. As the founder of Gmarket, Mr. Ku led and oversaw the rapid growth of the online marketplace as it became Korea’s leading e-commerce company and expanded into other Asian markets. The formation of a joint venture will allow Mr. Ku and the new entity to take advantage of Gmarket’s existing presence in Japan and Singapore and its highly scalable platform for rapid product innovation.
“We are excited to join with eBay, one of the world’s most recognized e-commerce brands, in combination with our management team’s proven track record of establishing successful online marketplaces,” said Mr. Ku. “The joint venture will allow us to provide an enhanced e-commerce experience tailored for the Japanese and Singaporean markets, and to capitalize on our companies’ experience in the Asian e-commerce industry.”
eBay will have a 49% stake in the joint venture, and an entity owned by Mr. Ku will have a 51% stake. eBay will contribute assets from Gmarket’s existing Japanese and Singaporean businesses to the joint venture, and eBay and Mr. Ku will make financial contributions of approximately US$10 million each to the joint venture. eBay will also license Gmarket’s technology and brand on behalf of the joint venture, while Mr. Ku will provide local management expertise.
In June 2009, eBay Inc. acquired Gmarket for a total cash purchase price of approximately $1.2 billion. Gmarket is Korea’s leading online marketplace, and is a key component of eBay’s Marketplaces segment. The acquisition strengthened eBay’s e-commerce business in Korea and provided a platform for the company’s expansion throughout Asia. In the first quarter of 2010, eBay’s combined Korean businesses exceeded expectations and the ongoing integration of eBay’s existing Korean business, Auction Co. (formerly Internet Auction Co.), and Gmarket is proceeding well. The new joint venture will not impact eBay’s businesses in Korea.
About eBay Inc.
Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world's largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and our global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.