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eBay faces new challenge from activist investor


eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) has again come under the gaze of Starboard Value. The activist hedge fund has presented a minority slate of candidates for eBay’s board of directors, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Starboard acquired around 1% of eBay’s stock early last year and criticized the e-commerce company for its sluggish growth rate and not moving fast enough to sell its classifieds business.

The board will be elected at eBay’s annual meeting in June, though it’s unclear exactly who Starboard appointed, or how many people it nominated.

Image source: eBay.

It was reported last month that eBay was in talks with several parties interested in the classifieds business, which has been a very controversial issue within the company. In September, CEO Devin Wenig resigned, would disagree with the board’s decision to accede to the hedge fund’s demands and sell the classifieds segment, which is estimated to be worth around $ 10 billion.

This isn’t the first time eBay has mingled with activist investors or even the Starboard Value hedge fund. At the start of 2019, e-commerce Technology The platform has been partnered with Starboard and Elliott Management, who have advocated for changes in the company to “create meaningful value” for shareholders. At the time, the pair recommended many actions, including instituting a dividend, revitalizing their core market activity, and selling StubHub and eBay Classifieds.

eBay bowed to the pressure and made many changes. Shortly after the double-team, the company announced that it start paying a dividend of $ 0.14 per share, yielding about 1.7% at the time. In addition, eBay sold StubHub to Swiss ticket seller viagogo last year for around $ 4 billion.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are motley! Challenging an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.


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