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eBay splashes $2.4bn for ecommerce services firm

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eBay has splashed out $2.4bn to buy ecommerce services outfit GSI Commerce in a deal will do little to dampen concerns about wonky valuations in the tech sector.

eBay is paying $29.25 a share for the firm, which it says is a 51 per cent premium over the target's Friday closing price, and a 47 per cent premium over its average price for the last 30 days.

GSI offers a range of services for e-merchants, including engagement and marketing services through to fulfilment.

Its About Us page notes, among other things, "Our only business is serving you". It will be amusing to see how it manages to square that with having to serve its new owner...

eBay, for its part, said the deal was complementary, giving the internet company "the most comprehensive integrated suite of online commerce and interactive marketing services available [which] will significantly strengthen our ability to connect buyers and sellers worldwide."

The deal should deliver synergies of $60m by 2013, being EPS neutral this year and accretive form next, eBay claimed.

Market observers have been making warning noises lately about the valuations being slapped on hot tech companies, with Facebook and Twitter giving rise to eye-watering sums some find hard to reconcile with their actual businesses.

While eBay's buy is comparatively small, squarely in its e-retail niche, and has been running for over a decade, the premium it is paying is bound to cause at least some raised eyebrows. ®

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