S.Korean retail firms Lotte and Shinsegae bid for eBay Korea

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean retailers Lotte Shopping and Shinsegae Group entered separate binding bids for eBay’s South Korean business, the retailers’ spokesmen said on Monday.

eBay Korea – South Korea’s third-largest e-commerce firm with a 12.8% market share in 2020, according to Euromonitor – is on sale for what eBay hopes could be up to 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion), analysts said.

The retailers’ spokesmen declined to comment on the terms of their bids. An eBay Korea spokeswoman also declined to comment.

Local retail giants Lotte and Shinsegae have struggled to catch up to leading competitors like South Korea’s No. 1 e-commerce firm Coupang in the fast-growing online shopping sector, especially after the onset of COVID-19.

South Korea’s online shopping transactions were worth 161 trillion won in 2020, accounting for a record 27.2% of total retail transactions, up from 21.4% in 2019.

($1 = 1,113.1100 won)

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Tom Hogue)