StubHub Returns to Original Co-Founder

Auction giant eBay is planning to sell StubHub to the Swiss ticket company Viagogo for $4.05 billion. eBay and Viagogo both facilitate the buying and selling of tickets for sporting events, concerts, and various other entertainment events. StubHub is very popular in the United States, while Viagogo deals with a more international market.

The CEO of Viagogo, Eric Baker, was also a co-founder of StubHub and is still a shareholder. Sometime before StubHub had been sold to eBay in 2007, Baker had left the company. He said in an interview with CNBC that his departure was due to differences with his partner. Baker commented on the original sale to eBay for $310 million, saying that [i]f it was up to me, I wouldn’t have to buy it back because I never would have sold it,” but added that “everything worked out in the end.” Baker said that Viagogo received debt financing from J.P. Morgan to help with the multi-billion-dollar purchase.

The combination of StubHub and Viagogo will give the resulting company reach in over 70 countries. The plan is for the sale to go through by the first fiscal quarter of 2020 and then for StubHub and Viagogo to remain independent of each other for a while, until executives can figure out the best way to combine them.

Disagreement over the sale contributed to Devin Wenig stepping down as CEO of eBay in September. Currently, all the companies involved seem to have a positive outlook on the sale and the future of StubHub. The companies say that there is no plan to change any of the current leadership at StubHub. A spokesperson for eBay said that the combined force of Viagogo and StubHub will create opportunities for innovation and efficiency. Scott Schenkel, interim CEO of eBay, said in a release that “this was the best path forward for both eBay and StubHub.” A spokesperson for StubHub said that Baker’s passion about the acqusition and business “is fantastic for the company going forward.”