eBay notified Kruse employees of its plans to sell the business on Wednesday, company spokesman Kevin Pursglove said. eBay determined that Kruse would be better matched with an owner that dealt with a traditional offline business, Pursglove said.
"We decided to focus our strategic energies on our online marketplace and that is what we do best," he said.
Although it is one of the most successful online companies, eBay has been selling or shutting down a series of businesses over the past year. In August, the companytraditional auction house Butterfields to Bonham, a U.K.-based rival. As part of an agreement signed in July to PayPal, eBay said it would Billpoint, its competing online payment service. And in February, the company announced that it would its Japanese auction site, which was trailing far behind Yahoo's site.
eBay used Kruse as ato launch automotive site eBay Motors two years ago. Although sales through eBay Motors have grown, business at Kruse and Butterfields, which comprised the bulk eBay's offline operations, has been in a tailspin.
In the fourth quarter of last year, for instance, eBay's offline operations garnered just $7.8 million in revenue, compared to $219.4 million in total revenue. The offline revenue was down from $9 million in the third quarter and $10.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2000, when the company had just $134 million in revenue overall.
eBayKruse in March 1999 for 787,312 shares of stock, worth about $150 million at the time.