Monday 25 November 2019 2:08 pm

Ebay to sell Stubhub to Viagogo for $4bn

Ebay has agreed to sell its ticket sales platform Stubhub to Viagogo in a deal worth $4.05bn, following pressure from activist investors to offload parts of its business.

The auction site bought Stubhub for $310m in 2007, but in March this year it launched a strategic review of its assets following pressure from activist investors Elliott Management and Starboard Value.

Read more:Ebay chief executive steps down

The strategic review focused on offloading the Stubhub business as well as Ebay Classifieds Group after Elliott said the company could more than double its market value if it restructured the business.

Elliott valued the Stubhub business between $3.5bn and $4.5bn, and Ebay Classifieds between $8bn and $12bn.

Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor to Ebay, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Quinn Emanuel acted as legal advisors on the deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

The buyer, Switzerland-based ticket reselling site Viagogo, has faced controversy after it was accused of allowing touts to use its platform to sell second-hand tickets at massively inflated prices.

In July Google suspended the company from advertising on its exchange after receiving complaints from the Football Association, trade body UK Music and MPs.

The Competition and Markets Authority dropped legal action against Viagogo in September after the ticket reseller addressed its concerns about how information was presented to customers.

The complaint centred around the platform’s use of so-called hover text to display information such as ticket prices and refund deadlines.

The regulator also accused Viagogo of using misleading information, including stating that there were more tickets left on sale than were actually available.