MercadoLibre, a Latin American eCommerce technology company, announced on Thursday (Oct. 13) that it is commencing an underwritten public offering of shares of its common stock offered by its existing stockholders, eBay and eBay’s subsidiary, eBay International Treasury Center. MercadoLibre will not receive any proceeds from the sale of the shares by the selling stockholders.
The selling stockholders are offering up to a total of 5,500,000 shares of common stock in the offering. In addition, the underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to 825,000 additional shares from eBay Inc. The relationship between MercadoLibre and eBay goes back to Oct. 2001 when MercadoLibre acquired iBazar Como, the Brazilian unit of iBazar, which eBay had purchased earlier that year, according to a report. EBay took a 19.5 percent stake in MercadoLibre instead of cash. EBay’s move to sell its stake jibes with the company’s moves to become a much slimmer company during the last year and a half. EBay has sold its stake in Craigslist, spun off PayPal and, according to the report, unloaded some of its stake in Snapdeal, an Indian eCommerce site.
It also comes at a time when the company is striking new partnerships. In September, it announced that it and Myer, the Australian marketplace, are joining forces to launch what they are billing as the world’s first virtual reality department store. Through the new virtual reality department store, shoppers can browse more than 12,500 Myer products, which can be selected and added to their cart via eBay Sight Search. The virtual reality department store connects to the existing eBay.com.au application programming interface and enables Myer’s product range, pricing and stock information to be updated in real time.
The two are offering customers the opportunity to get their own so-called “shopticals,” or specially designed virtual reality viewers, to begin their VR shopping. The companies said there are 15,000 shopticals available free.