After urging eBay to spin off its PayPal business for months, activist investor Carl Icahn is happy about the “no brainer” decision to move forward with a split, but he has some more advice for PayPal, according to his latest blog post.
He thinks the next step is for PayPal to help consolidate the payments industry through an acquisition or a merger, if it wants to really get ahead in payments.
“In light of the development of strong competition such as the advent of Apple Pay, the sooner these consolidations take place, the better,” he says.
Apple notably partnered with Stripe — not PayPal — to power Apple Pay.
Icahn made about $US180 million because of the eBay-PayPal split.
Here’s his full statement:
We are happy that eBay’s board and management have acted responsibly concerning the separation — perhaps a little later than they should have, but earlier than we expected. As I have said in the past and have continued to maintain, it is almost a “no brainer” that these companies should be separated to increase the value of these great assets and thus to meaningfully enhance value for all shareholders. It also continues to be my belief that the payments industry, of which PayPal is an important part, must be consolidated — either through acquisitions made by PayPal or a merger between PayPal and another strong player in the industry. It is possible that this could be accomplished through a reverse Morris Trust structure because, in light of the development of strong competition such as the advent of Apple Pay, the sooner these consolidations take place, the better. As one of the largest shareholders of eBay, I intend to have discussions in the near future with John Donahoe who, as I have said in the past and continue to believe, has the interest of enhancing value for all shareholders as his major concern.