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eBay fingered for QXL bid

Bid received for online auctioneer

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Online auctioneer QXL confirmed yesterday that it has received an offer for its business, but refused to name the suitor.

The statement said: "The company notes the recent movement in the company's share price and confirms that it has received a preliminary approach which may or may not lead to an offer being made for the company."

Several analysts named eBay as the obvious choice. QXL's best performing markets - like Poland and eastern Europe - are areas where eBay is not strongest. The two businesses are broadly similar and would make an obvious match.

QXL was launched by ex-journalist Tim Jackson in 1997 but struggled in the aftermath of the dot-com crash in 2001. It subsequently refocused its business on eastern Europe, Russia, Denmark, and Norway, and has seen its share price recover. Since November 2006 shares have more than tripled, although today they have fallen back slightly on yesterday's gains.

Yesterday also saw eBay post its results for the third quarter ended 30 September 2007. Revenues were $1.89bn, year-on-year growth of 30 per cent. eBay made a loss for the three months of $935.6m - mostly blamed on writing off $1.39bn in costs relating to Skype.

More on results here (pdf). ®

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