After coming under fire recently from Carl Icahn, the activist investor who believes eBay should spin off 20% of its PayPal division, eBay has released the following statement:
“PayPal and eBay are better together. That’s been true for the past five years, during which time PayPal and eBay have generated a 441% increase in share price for our investors, significantly outpacing NASDAQ and the S&P. And we continue to believe PayPal and eBay together is the best path to creating sustainable, long-term shareholder value in the future. As the lines between online and offline commerce continue to blur, the competitive advantages of PayPal and eBay together are more important than ever.
PayPal is thriving as part of eBay Inc. Being part of eBay Inc. for more than a decade has enabled PayPal’s strong growth and global leadership position in digital payments. PayPal has not been held back by eBay Inc. In fact, as part of eBay Inc., PayPal has built relationships with VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover, with the world’s leading point-of-sale providers, and with leading global companies such as Facebook and Samsung. Together, PayPal and eBay have strong, real synergies that benefit both businesses. These synergies cannot be easily addressed in arm’s length commercial agreements.
A partial separation of PayPal is not a new idea, and we’re glad to see that Mr. Icahn now seems to agree that a full separation of PayPal is not a good idea. Our board regularly evaluates strategic options for the company, looking at the best ways to enhance our competitiveness, accelerate growth and deliver sustainable shareholder value.
We are fully committed to always acting in the best long-term interests of our shareholders. So we’ve asked ourselves: Will a partial spin make PayPal more competitive? Will it accelerate growth? Will it be possible without distracting PayPal at a critically important time? And, importantly, will it create sustainable value for shareholders over time? Today, we believe the answer to these questions is no. Not now. In the future, our board will continue to evaluate all strategic options and make the right decisions for shareholders. But today, PayPal and eBay are better together.”