WILKES-BARRE — EBay Inc.’s announcement Thursday it has entered into an agreement to sell eBay Enterprise for $925 million to private equity firms likely will lead to growth for a local company in downtown Wilkes-Barre, said local Internet marketing veteran Kris Jones.

EBay Enterprise, which has its headquarters for its affiliate marketing programs in the Innovation Center on South Main Street, was sold to a consortium consisting of Sterling Partners, a U.S.-based private equity firm; Longview Asset Management, a Europe-based asset-management company; Innotrac, a U.S.-based e-commerce fulfillment company and undisclosed companies owned by global investment fund Permira.

Mr. Jones, who is now CEO of ReferLocal.com and Michael Jones started the Internet marketing company Pepperjam at the current eBay Enterprise site in 2004. It was sold to GSI Commerce in 2009.

EBay acquired GSI Commerce in 2011 for $2.4 billion, and was re-branded as eBay Enterprise two years later.

The announced sale to private equity firms could “not only mean growth, but accelerated growth,” Kris Jones said.

“Typically what you see with private equity firms is they come in with the goal of getting the company to very fast growth,” he said. “When private equity firms get involved, there is almost always growth with that type of investment and they accelerate


Michael Jones, head of performance marketing for eBay Enterprise in the Innovation Center, recently announced the company plans to add three dozen jobs over the next 18 months, expand its space on the third floor and extend its lease for five years. He could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Joseph Boylan, vice president of economic development for the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, said the sale announcement does not delay eBay Enterprise’s expansion plans in downtown Wilkes-Barre announced last month.

“Additionally, their drive toward adding 35 to 40 jobs by 2016 is well underway, with several hires already occurring during the past two months,” Mr. Boylan said.

Kris Jones said when he founded Pepperjam with Michael Jones, one of their dreams was that it would eventually become an eBay company.

“Now it’s a new chapter. It’s a bittersweet day,” Mr. Jones said.


[“source – thetimes-tribune.com”]