EBay said Monday it has reached a deal to sell event-ticketing business StubHub to ticket reseller Viagogo for $4.05 billion.
EBay, and Geneva-based Viagogo said the all-cash deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2020, depending on final regulatory approval.
Scott Schenkel, eBay’s interim chief executive, said the decision to sell StubHub came after months of reviewing eBay’s main businesses and strategic direction. “We concluded that this was the best path forward for both eBay and StubHub,” Schenkel said, in a statement about the deal.
The sale also nets San Jose-based eBay a sizable return on its original purchase of StubHub, which it bought in 2007 for $310 million.
However, a pair of activist investors had been pressuring eBay since January to focus on its core marketplace and e-commerce businesses, and consider selling StubHub. Those investors, Elliott Management and Starboard Value, had both acquired enough of eBay’s shares to agitate for some changes in eBay’s overall direction, and eventually acquired seats on eBay’s board of directors.
In September, eBay CEO Devin Wenig stepped down from the company due to disagreements about whether or not to sell both StubHub and eBay’s international classifieds business.
Acquiring StubHub will be somewhat of a homecoming for Viagogo founder and CEO Eric Baker, who founded StubHub, but left the company before it was sold to eBay. “It has long been my wish to unite the two companies,” Baker said in a statement.