Friday, April 15, 2011

eBAY to expand in Turkey taking a 93% stake in GittiGidiyor

Turkey's economy continues to boom despite gloomy economic news coming from Europe. With half of its population less than 29 years old and internet penetration expansion rapidly, Turkey offers tremendous growth potential to e-business powerhouses such as eBay and Amazon.

Accordingly, eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) today announced that it has agreed to acquire additional shares in GittiGidiyor, the leading online marketplace in Turkey. The deal follows eBay’s acquisition of a minority stake in the company in 2007. Upon closing of the transaction, eBay will own approximately 93% of the outstanding shares of GittiGidiyor. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Launched on February 5, 2001, GittiGidiyor ( has more than 6.4 million registered users. The company’s business model is complementary to eBay’s with the addition of a mandatory escrow service for payments between buyer and seller. Today, all of GittiGidiyor’s transactions come from fixed price listings with the largest categories being Fashion and Consumer Electronics, which are also among eBay’s top shopping experiences.

Doug McCallum, senior vice president for eBay in Europe, said: “We knew that when we acquired a stake in GittiGidiyor that we were buying into an excellent business in an exciting ecommerce market. Since 2007, we have been impressed with GittiGidiyor, its people, its VC investor iLab and its successful approach to ecommerce. There is a lot that we can learn from GittiGidiyor, and much we can share.”

Turkey is the world’s 12th largest market for Internet usage, with a penetration rate of 45% according to Internet World Stats1.

GittiGidiyor, which was founded by Serkan Borançılı, Burak Divanlıoğlu and Tolga Kabataş, is headquartered in Istanbul, Turkey and employs over 150 people. In addition to eBay, the company previously raised capital from iLab Ventures, founded and led by Mustafa E. Say.

“Becoming an eBay company is a source of great pride for GittiGidiyor,” said Serkan Borançılı, chairman of GittiGidiyor’s board of directors. “By being fully part of eBay, we can accelerate our development, benefit from world class best practices and consolidate our leadership position in one of Europe’s fastest growing ecommerce markets.”

Mustafa E. Say, Founder and Chairman of iLab, an early investor in GittiGidiyor, said: “GittiGidiyor’s growth is testament to the Founding Partners who are among the leading new generation entreprenuers that aspiring young start-ups in Turkey can look up to. At iLab, we are excited about our continuing partnership with eBay and the potential growth still ahead of GittiGidiyor.”

eBay does not expect this investment to have a material impact on its financial guidance as issued both in conjunction with its fourth quarter earnings release on January 19, 2011 and updated on March 28, 2011. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011.

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