Shares of eBay surged 8.7% on Tuesday after The Wall Street Journal reported that Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) has made a bid to acquire eBay’s marketplace business. ICE shares fell 7.4% on the news.
The companies aren’t in formal talks about a possible takeover and there’s no guarantee eBay will choose to pursue any deal, the Journal reported. The deal could value eBay at roughly $30 billion, according to the publication. EBay’s market cap stood at more than $28 billion as of Tuesday afternoon.
ICE, which owns the New York Stock Exchange, issued a statement late Tuesday confirming that it approached eBay about a possible deal.
“ICE approached eBay to explore a range of potential opportunities that might create value for the shareholders of both companies,” the company said. “EBay has not engaged in a meaningful way.”
An eBay spokesperson told CNBC in a statement: “The eBay Board is aligned and open to all value-enhancing alternatives. The board is highly engaged and has acted, and will continue to act, consistent with its focus on shareholder value.”
ICE has approached eBay about owning the company’s online marketplace, not its classifieds business, the Journal reported.
Earlier Tuesday, hedge fund Starboard Value called for eBay to sell its classifieds business, saying it would allow the company to focus on growing the marketplace business. EBay said it would consider Starboard’s “letter and perspectives” as it reviews future opportunities for “growth and value creation.”
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