US-based eBay to acquire India's web auction firm

Wednesday, 23 June 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: In a major acquisition in the Internet space, US-based eBay, a global e-commerce company, Wednesday said it would take over India's leading online auction firm Baazee.com India Ltd. for about $50 million.

The acquisition agreement, likely to be closed by the end of the current year, will allow eBay to expand its global footprint into the nascent but growing Indian e-commerce market.

The combination of Baazee.com and eBay will allow buyers and sellers in India and around the world to gain access to a broader range of choice and convenience, said a statement issued by California headquartered eBay.

eBay will acquire all outstanding shares of Baazee.com for $50 million, plus acquisition costs and post-signing adjustments, added the statement.

Based in Mumbai, Baazee.com started its operations in January 2000 and currently offers an online marketplace for a range of buyers and sellers throughout India.

The company claims to have more than one million registered users who trade in a wide range of categories from consumer electronics and computers, to home decor and jewellery.

"Our relationship with Baazee.com is another important step in the growth of eBay's global marketplace," said Meg Whitman, president and chief executive officer of eBay.

"Although it's early days for e-commerce in India, we believe there is great opportunity over the long term. Baazee.com's strong management team and solid focus on its community make it a natural fit with eBay," he added.

A young market in terms of e-commerce adoption, India's Internet penetration is growing steadily.

There are currently 17 million Internet users in India, and that number is expected to grow to more than 30 million in 2006, according to global IT industry research firm IDC.

"Our partnership with eBay validates Baazee.com's business model and position in the industry," said Avnish Bajaj, chairman and co-chief executive officer of Baazee.com.

"Our local expertise combined with eBay's global perspective will allow us to take e-commerce in India to the next level."



Source: IANS
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