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Race to buy eBay Korea tipped to finalize this week

SEOUL, June 13 (Yonhap) — The race to take over eBay Korea, the third-largest e-commerce operator, is expected to come to an end this week, in a deal that will shake up the country’s e-commerce retail segment, retail industry sources said Sunday.

According to the sources, two retail behemoths — Shinsegae and Lotte Shopping — submitted their letters of intent (LOIs) for the Korean unit of eBay. EBay may decide to pick a preferred bidder this week.

The bidding marks the second attempt by eBay to sell off its Korean unit, with the first having fallen through in mid-May as the company anticipated a higher price.

EBay is the No. 2 e-commerce player in the U.S. with about 11 percent of its revenue coming from South Korea. Its Korean unit, eBay Korea, takes up about 12 percent of South Korea’s e-commerce market after Naver’s 18 percent and Coupang Inc.’s 13 percent.

Its revenue is estimated at 1.3 trillion won (US$1.17 billion) in the country, with operating income at 85 billion won.

Lotte and Shinsegae’s market shares in the country’s e-commerce sector are estimated at 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

The takeover of eBay Korea could reshape the country’s online retail segment, according to the sources.

khj@yna.co.kr
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