By Bill Peters
Online secondhand-fashion marketplace Poshmark Inc. has agreed to be bought by South Korean internet company Naver in a $1.2 billion deal, the companies announced Monday, a move that executives said would help both brands expand internationally.
Shares of Poshmark jumped 11.8% in after-hours trading on the news.
Under the terms of the deal, Naver /zigman2/quotes/208724142/delayed KR:035420 -0.96% will acquire Poshmark’s outstanding shares for $17.90 in cash, representing a 15% upside to Poshmark’s Monday closing price of $15.57. The transaction is set to close by the first quarter of next year, pending Poshmark shareholders’ approval.
Poshmark went public in late 2020, pricing shares at $42 a share, and ended its first day of trading at more than $100 a share, but has never approached those heights again. It last traded for more than the acquisition price Naver has agreed to pay late last year.
For more: Five things to know about Poshmark
In a statement, executives from both companies talked up the potential to combine Naver’s array of search, e-commerce, AI and social-media technology with Poshmark’s social and shopping platforms. Poshmark, the companies said, would also embark on a bigger international expansion strategy, including into other markets in Asia, in the “medium-term.”
They also talked about the potential for the combined company to save around $30 million annually within two years after the deal’s closing through “rationalization of public company costs” and higher operating leverage, along with the potential for more than 20% yearly sales growth by harnessing Naver’s advertising resources.
Naver, which runs large search and e-commerce platforms, said the move would broaden its e-commerce platform, bring younger users into the company’s fold and allow it to “capitalize on the global online fashion re-commerce and sustainable economy opportunity.”
“Naver’s leading technology in search, AI recommendation and e-commerce tools will help power the next phase of Poshmark’s global growth,” Choi Soo-Yeon, Naver’s chief executive, said in a statement, which also said that Naver hosted a large number of digital content creators in Korea.
Naver owns companies like Wattpad, a social-media platform, and runs Webtoon, a site for digital comics, along with a metaverse platform called Zepeto, and also has joint ownership of an internet service group in Japan. Naver said its online community in Korea consists of more than 36 million monthly users, who use its search engine and other services.
Poshmark Chief Executive Manish Chandra said the deal would also give Poshmark opportunities to grow.
“Longer term, as part of Naver, we will benefit from their financial resources, significant technology capabilities, and leading presence across Asia to expand our platform, elevate our product and user experiences, and enter new and large markets,” he said in the statement.
Naver said the acquisition would also help give it a bigger foothold in the U.S. And it said the deal would allow it to broaden the appeal of so-called live-stream shopping.
“Live-stream shopping is a key driver of e-commerce in China and Korea (and increasingly in the U.S.) today, allowing shoppers to buy products in real-time through live video broadcasts, enabling greater insights and more clarity around purchasing decisions,” the statement said.
Once the deal closes, Poshmark will be a standalone subsidiary of Naver, with the same management team, brand and headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., the companies revealed.
At the close of Monday’s trading, shares of Poshmark were down around 9% year-to-date. The S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.38% , by comparison, has slid 23% over that time.