StubHub is changing hands. eBay announced on Monday it has agreed to sell the secondary ticketing giant to Geneva-based resale marketplace Viagogo for a price tag of $4.05 billion in cash. Combining the two companies, if approved by regulators, would boost their overall reach to over 70 countries.
San Francisco-based StubHub was co-founded by Viagogo founder and CEO Eric Baker, who left the former before it was sold to eBay for $310 million in 2007. “It has long been my wish to unite the two companies,” he said. “I am so proud of how StubHub has grown over the years and excited about the possibilities for our shared future.”
The sale is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2020, subject to regulatory approval and closing conditions. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is acting as financial advisor to eBay. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Quinn Emanuel are acting as legal advisors to eBay.
eBay’s interim CEO Scott Schenkel said the company believes the transaction will maximize the “long-term value for eBay shareholders.” He added that eBay’s leadership and board of directors spent months reviewing their portfolio, “and we concluded that this was the best path forward for both eBay and StubHub. We firmly believe in the StubHub business and we are excited about its future growth potential with Viagogo as its owner.”
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, president of StubHub, added: “This provides a great opportunity to expand our business, pursue new partnerships and execute our strategy. We expect a seamless transition for all our employees, partners and customers, and we are excited for what the future holds.”
The proposed sale will likely raise concerns among watchdog groups, and in certain markets where Viagogo has courted controversy. Earlier this year, Google reportedly suspended the ticketing site from placing paid ads in results, and in April Australia’s federal court found the company breached consumer law by making false or misleading claims when selling tickets. Late last year, the U.K. government’s consumer watchdog agency took the reseller to court over concerns that Viagogo was breaking consumer protection law.
This is a developing story…