Intercontinental Exchange says it explored deal with eBay

Intercontinental Exchange Inc, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, said on Tuesday it had approached e-commerce company eBay Inc to explore “a range of potential opportunities”.
The statement came after people familiar with the matter said ICE discussed a potential takeover of eBay. The acquisition would exceed $30 billion and represent a substantial departure from ICE’s focus on financial markets.

The move would call on ICE’s technological expertise in running markets to extract efficiencies from eBay’s marketplace platform, which connects buyers and sellers of goods around the world.

ICE said in its statement that “eBay has not engaged in a meaningful way”, and as a result, it was not in negotiations regarding the sale of all or part of eBay.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the deal discussions, said ICE is not interested in eBay’s classified ad unit, which eBay has been considering selling.

EBay’s board issued a statement on Wednesday morning saying it is “aligned and open to all value-enhancing alternatives.”
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