It's official. EBay has gotten the final regulatory approval to allow PayPal to become its own publicly traded company once again.
On eBay's blog yesterday (July 13), outgoing CEO John Donahoe — who will serve as chairman of PayPal’s board following the split — announced that the European Central Bank approved the eBay-PayPal separation. This was the final approval needed in order to make the separation deal possible.
And with that, eBay and PayPal have just three days together as the separation is officially planned for Friday, July 17, at 11:59 p.m. EST. By Monday, July 20, PayPal's stock will begin trading on NASDAQ once again as PYPL.
"As independent companies, their sharper focus and increased flexibility will improve their ability to pursue their respective market opportunities and strategic priorities. I am confident that eBay’s new CEO, Devin Wenig, and PayPal’s new CEO, Dan Schulman — and their respective management teams — have the right strategies and operating structures in place to enable eBay and PayPal to deliver lasting shareholder value and unsurpassed user experiences for their customers around the world," Donahoe wrote.
He also took the time to thank eBay and PayPal's customer base and the employees who make up the companies.
"I want to thank the millions of customers who rely on eBay and PayPal every day, as well as our talented teams of employees for making the separation possible and giving eBay and PayPal two clear paths to success," Donahoe wrote. "I am proud of all that we have accomplished and am excited for the significant opportunities that lie ahead for both eBay and PayPal — their best is yet to come."
It was less than a year ago when Donahoe remarked on Sept. 30, 2014, that PayPal would be split into its own publicly traded company. At the time he declared that that “the industry landscape is changing, and each business faces different competitive opportunities and challenges."
PayPal initially went public on Feb. 15, 2002, and by July the news broke that it was going to be acquired by eBay. EBay announced in July 2002 that it would be acquiring the payments network for $1.5 billion, and it was made official in October.
When PayPal splits off into its own company, eBay’s largest shareholder, Carl Icahn, may finally get clarity on the one question he’s made other investors ponder: Is eBay holding back PayPal’s full potential? EBay was pressured last year by Icahn toward the eBay/PayPal split.