PayPal-eBay split to take effect today

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PayPal-eBay split to take effect today

Payments spin-off to begin Nasdaq trading Monday.

eBay will sell its enterprise e-commerce business to a consortium led by private equity firm Permira for US$925 million (A$1.2 billion), as it streamlines its operations following a separation from PayPal, which will take effect today.

eBay's enterprise business, the company's smallest, was formerly known as GSI Commerce. It bought the business, which helps retailers strengthen their online presence and e-commerce capabilities, in 2011 for US$2.4 billion.

The business has since lost customers and seen sluggish growth in the past few years as retailers increasingly move their online operations in-house.

The unit suffered a blow this month when ToysRUs, one of its largest customers, ended a near decade-long contract to launch its own online platform.

The sale was announced alongside eBay's second-quarter results, where it reported a 7 percent jump in net revenue.

But sales were driven by higher demand in the PayPal business it plans to spin off on Friday.

PayPal is slated to begin trading separately on the Nasdaq on July 20, creating a new company that some analysts say will be worth US$40 billion.

Revenue in the company's marketplace business fell 3 percent, hurt by a strong dollar. Excluding the impact of currency, revenue rose 5 percent.

Based on proceeds from the enterprise business sale, the company recorded an impairment of goodwill of about US$786 million. It said it expected the deal to close later this year.

The enterprise deal and PayPal split leaves eBay with its slow-growing marketplace business, which faces stiff competition from rivals such as Amazon.

Analysts, however, were bullish on eBay's prospects as a standalone company.

"eBay will not grow nearly as fast as PayPal but it is a very profitable business that generates tremendous amount of cash - some of which they will be able to return to shareholders," Wedbush Securities analyst Gil Luria said.

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