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EBay Buying GSI Commerce For $2.4 Billion

EBay is acquiring GSI Commerce as a way to bolster its own interactive marketing and e-commerce services in a deal valued at $2.4 billion. The acquisition will be financed with cash and debt, the online auction company said. It expects the deal to close in the third quarter of 2011.

On its own, GSI has spent the past year making a number of acquisitions, as it has been able to ride the wave of wider e-commerce and daily deals activity that has surely cut into eBay’s territory.

In a statement, eBay (NSDQ: EBAY) CEO John Donahoe said that GSI will be combined with eBay Marketplaces and PayPal to create a larger interactive commerce unit. GSI will immediately bring eBay about 180 customers across 14 merchandise categories.

The deal will not bring all the parts of GSI to eBay, however. As part of the terms of the purchase, eBay will divest 100 percent of GSI’s licensed sports merchandise business and 70 percent of ShopRunner and Gilt Groupe rival Rue La La, saying that these businesses are not core to its long-term growth strategy. These assets will be sold to a newly formed holding company, which will be led by GSI founder and CEO Michael Rubin.

As for what remains, eBay says it will realize $60 million in “synergies” from the addition of GSI by 2013. Release