eBay may be considering launching a spinoff of PayPal as soon as next year, according to an online report that appeared on Thursday.
Tech news website, The Information, published the report, which cited sources who claim that the online marketplace has been letting potential candidates for role of PayPal chief executive officer (which David Marcus left in June) about a possible spinoff of the payments unit.
The rumours prompted a rise in the value of eBay shares by nearly 4 per cent, to $55.48 at midday on Thursday.
If a PayPal spinoff were to emerge, it would mark a change of position for the company following eBay CEO John Donahoe’s resistance to the idea earlier this year when it was demanded by activist shareholder Carl Icahn. At that point, Donahoe claimed PayPal was integral to eBay’s business – and vice versa – and a split would not make sense.
eBay spokesperson commented on the latest reports: “The eBay Inc. board and management team remain focused on maximizing shareholder value. As we discussed during proxy season and in our second-quarter financial results call, the board will continue to assess all alternatives to create that long-term value and to enhance the growth and competitive positions of both EBay and PayPal. This position has not changed.”
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