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StubHub conducts layoffs

StubHub has laid off a group of employees, with multiple reports pegging the number at around 100. 

The San Francisco, California-based secondary ticketing giant did not confirm the specific number. But the company did say in a statement, “it is part of our normal course of business to regularly evaluate initiatives and investments for StubHub’s continued long-term success. As a result, we are adding and removing positions as appropriate across the company.”

The personnel moves come as the eBay-owned StubHub is seeking to close a sale of the company to Swiss-based ticket marketplace Viagogo in a $4.05bn all-cash deal. The sale is nearly a 400-per-cent premium on the roughly $1.2bn in revenue StubHub generates annually, and industry sources suggested the moves may be coming as StubHub is improving its balance sheet and expenses as the sale to Viagogo moves through due diligence.

When the sale agreement was announced in November, Viagogo was targeting a closing by the end of the first quarter of 2020. 

The Competition and Markets Authority in the UK, which has battled with Viagogo in the past around regulatory compliance, is reviewing the sale, and recently completed a period of public comment around the transaction. And the Federal Trade Commission in the US is also expected to conduct an inquiry. 

StubHub, meanwhile, is undergoing one of its operational high points of each year with transactions happening around the upcoming Super Bowl LIV on February 2. In part due to the high tourism interest in the Miami, Florida market, where the game is being played, and the relatively small seating capacity of Hard Rock Stadium, average ticket resale prices are tracking at historically high levels.