eBay announced today that it has agreed to acquire ecommerce and marketing services provider GSI Commerce for $2.4 billion in cash. It’s not a “done deal” yet, however, as under the terms of the merger agreement, GSI Commerce may solicit acquisition proposals from third parties for a 40-day “go-shop” period continuing through May 6, 2011.
The acquisition purchase price, based on $29.25 per share of GSI (NASDAQ:GSIC) would represent a 51 percent premium over GSI’s March 25, 2011, closing price.
With more than 180 customers across 14 merchandise categories, GSI has long-term commerce services relationships with leading retailers and brands. We expect that GSI will benefit from eBay’s global platform and technology capabilities, and its clients will be able to leverage eBay Marketplaces and PayPal services.
“Technology is changing how consumers shop, and retailers and brands are changing how they compete,” Donahoe said. “With its complementary strengths, GSI will extend the power of our portfolio. With eBay, PayPal, GSI and our global platform capabilities, we are focused on delivering new ways for retailers and brands of all sizes – from sole proprietors to large merchants – to drive innovation, engage customers and help people shop anytime, anywhere and on any device.”
As part of the transaction, eBay will divest 100 percent of GSI’s licensed sports merchandise business and 70 percent of ShopRunner and Rue La La, as eBay believes doesn’t see the businesses as core to its long-term growth strategy. The assets will be sold to a newly formed holding company, to be led by GSI founder and CEO Michael Rubin.
The acquisition is subject to regulatory and GSI shareholder approval, as well as other customary closing conditions. If the acquisition goes through, it will be financed with cash and debt, and is expected to close in the third quarter of 2011.
In a similar acquisition back in November 2010, Oracle announced it would acquired eCommerce software provider Art Technology Group, Inc. (ATG) $1.0 billion in cash.