Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Thursday, 16 April 2009 08:22 UK

EBay looks to buy Korea's Gmarket

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EBay already has a site of its own in South Korea

Online auction site eBay has offered to buy South Korean online retailer Gmarket for up to $1.2bn (£800m).

The offer price of $24 per share is a 20.2% increase on Gmarket's most recent closing price of $19.96.

EBay said it had acquired 67% in the Korean firm, after Yahoo and Interpark agreed to sell their Gmarket stakes.

The news comes a day after eBay said it was looking to spin off internet call service provider Skype and list shares in the firm in the first half of 2010.

'Fast moving market'

South Korean online mall operator Interpark said it was to sell its 29% holding in Gmarket to eBay for $350m.

Yahoo is selling its 10% stake in a move which should net it $120m.

Gmarket has more than 10 million registered users in South Korea, the world's sixth-largest e-commerce market.

It competes with eBay's South Korean unit, Internet Auction.

"Asia is a very fast moving market, fast growing market," John Pluhowski, an eBay vice president said in Seoul.

He said the proposed deal "also allows us to build a platform for growth in Korea but also in regions throughout Asia and beyond".

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