With plans to expand globally, the leading auction site will take a 30 percent stake in Germany's Alando, according to an executive of a competing firm.
eBay, which in recent months has made moves to take its online auction international, has called a press conference for Tuesday at Berlin-based Alando's offices.
A German source says eBay is expected to confirm its minority investment in Alando at that meeting.
"eBay has talked to nearly every online auction in Germany that has quite a [large] site," said Frank Bohmann, an executive with another German auction, Primus-Online. Bohmann said eBay is rumored to have closed a deal yesterday to buy a 30 percent stake in Alando for about $15.8 million.
eBay confirmed the press conference will be held Tuesday at Alando's offices, but would not confirm any investment. An Alando spokesman also had no comment on the news announcement.
A move into Germany would come as no surprise, since eBay management has discussed ambitions to go global. In March, eBay agreed to pay $75 million to America Online in a deal intended to help eBay expand internationally.
Earlier this year, eBay launched its own auctions in the United Kingdom and Canada. The company also has a joint venture in Australia and New Zealand with PBL Online.
"Management has been clear that there is an international extension strategy," said Lauren Levitan, BancBoston Robertson Stephens analyst who has a "buy" recommendation on eBay's stock. "Part of the international strategy would be potential joint ventures and acquisitions."