eBay wasn't interested in a deal with NYSE's owner, CEO says

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Intercontinental Exchange Inc., the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, has long been interested in EBay Inc., seeing similarities in the two companies’ platforms, but the online marketplace didn’t want to discuss a takeover, ICE’s chief executive officer said.

“ICE has a long history of creating shareholder value and we’ve done so by thinking outside the box and by engaging in value-accretive transactions,” Jeff Sprechter said on an earnings conference call Thursday. While the two companies “serve different customer bases,” there “is much to be gleaned from similar businesses” that operate in different industries, he said.

“The company, for reasons of its own, was not interested,” Sprechter said of EBay.

EBay shares soared and ICE slumped earlier this week following a report that the NYSE owner approached the company with a takeover offer. ICE said late Tuesday it had approached EBay to discuss a potential deal, but that EBay wasn’t engaged and the companies weren’t in negotiations.

The approach had many analysts scratching their heads. The potential link-up has no clear rationale, Piper Sandler Cos. said, while Oppenheimer & Co. voiced a widespread reaction when headlines about the talks first appeared: EBay is not a “conventional” M&A target for an exchange.

Bloomberg News