ICE to stop exploring strategic opportunities with eBay

Maria Nikolova

The decision was made following ICE earnings call held on February 6, 2020.

International operator of exchanges and clearing houses and provider of data and listings services Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (NYSE:ICE) is not going to proceed with any offer for eBay. This becomes clear from a brief statement ICE has issued following its Q4 conference call with investors.

“Based on investor conversations following today’s ICE earnings call, ICE has decided to cease exploring strategic opportunities with eBay”, ICE said.

Earlier this week, ICE sought to respond to media reports about it seeking to takeover eBay. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, that ICE has made a takeover offer for eBay that could value the online marketplace at over $30 billion. The newspaper referred to people familiar with the matter. The WSJ said the companies were not in formal talks, and there was no guarantee eBay would agree to a deal.

The WSJ estimates that, in case of a deal, given eBay’s market value of more than $28 billion and the premium ICE would likely have to pay, the transaction would be big.

In its response to media reports on February 4, 2020, ICE confirmed it approached eBay to explore a range of potential opportunities that might create value for the shareholders of both companies. eBay has not engaged in a meaningful way. “We are not in negotiations regarding the sale of all or part of eBay”, ICE noted.

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