EBay Inc. (EBAY) reportedly prefers to keep a stake in the classified advertising unit it’s selling, reducing the odds that Prosus NV will win the hotly-contested auction.
The decision made at a board meeting on Friday gives a surprise likelihood to a bid from Norwegian online marketplace Adevinta ASA, which offered a mix of cash and stock and would leave EBay with a significant stake in the combined business, Bloomberg reported. A combination of the classifieds unit with the listed Scandinavian firm would also allow EBay to benefit from any future increase in the shares.
Separately, a private equity consortium backed by Blackstone Group Inc. (BX), Permira and Hellman & Friedman has been interested in the unit and also offered to let EBay keep a minority stake.
Until as recently as Friday, Naspers Ltd.-owned Prosus was considered to be the front runner for a deal after