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eBay Wants to Keep Stake in Classifieds Sale, Hurting Prosus Bid

  • EBay preference to keep stake in unit boosts bid from Adevinta
  • Seller to choose exclusivity soon for up to $8 billion unit
The eBay Inc. application.

The eBay Inc. application.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

EBay Inc. would prefer to keep a stake in the classified advertising business it’s selling, according to people familiar with the matter, lessening the chances Prosus NV will win the hotly-contested auction.

The decision at a board meeting on Friday gives a surprise boost to a bid from Norwegian online marketplace Adevinta ASA, which offered a mix of cash and stock and would leave EBay with a significant stake in the combined business, the people said, asking not to be identified as discussions aren’t public. A combination of the classifieds unit with the listed Scandinavian firm would also allow EBay to benefit from any future increase in the shares, they said.