Image: Shinsegae logo. Credit: Shinsegae.
After a fierce bidding war, the retail giant Shinsegae 신세계 is expected to acquire eBay Korea for KRW 4.5t (USD 3.9b), beating out Lotte 롯데. Although Shinsegae was initially expected to form a consortium with the portal giant Naver 네이버, the latest news is that Shinsegae will make a solo acquisition, with loans from five financial institutions.
While Shinsegae is strong offline with its luxury flagship Shinsegae Department Store 신세계 백화점 and general retail stores such as EMart 이마트, its online arm SSG.com SSG닷컴 only has 3% market share in online retail. On the other hand, eBay Korea is the third-largest online retailer in South Korea with 12% market share, following Naver (18%) and Coupang 쿠팡 (13%).