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A digital marketplace for people and the planet

Adevinta has established the world’s largest online classifieds group.

Adevinta’s purchase of eBay Classifieds Group (eCG) has created a huge “re-commerce” platform, providing more opportunities for people to sell things they no longer need.

Working with Adevinta, we advised on and supported the deal and the newly-formed company’s transformation.

For savvy, climate-conscious buyers and sellers, a thriving online marketplaces sector is brilliant news.

Digital marketplaces give us a simple way to make use of items that might otherwise go to waste.

And when it comes to adopting circular practices in the long term, making it easy is really important.

When Adevinta acquired eBay Classifieds Group (eCG) in 2021, it doubled the size of its business overnight – a bold move towards meeting its growth ambitions for sustainable commerce.

“We all see what's happening with consumption and the limits of the planet's capabilities,” says Adevinta’s chief operating officer (COO), Alex Collinet. “Championing a more sustainable way for ourselves and our children to live makes a difference.”

As part of its long-term growth plans, Adevinta’s acquisition enabled the company to scale up to achieve ambitious synergies while transforming its business.

Working together with its people, a multi-disciplinary team of more than 100 Deloitte specialists supported the company with its pre-deal due diligence, the transaction itself and the transformation of business functions including HR, Finance, Procurement and Legal.

Three years on from the transaction, we’re reflecting on what made the deal such an interesting and impactful one, and how a clear vision, direction and focus on culture is enabling Adevinta to make its transformation a success.


“From the outset, Adevinta invested time in looking ahead to develop a clear vision for the new organisation, and that put them into a great position,” Dan Ison, global lead client service partner at Deloitte explains.

“Mapping its business by taking a broad ‘North Star’ view and using that to explore what was possible inspired Adevinta to take some big leaps.”

Pledging to hit synergies worth €130 million within three years of the deal, Adevinta took the bold decision to change its operating model and build central services at the same time as completing the transaction. For example, while rationalising its IT systems, it redesigned them to meet the needs of a future, digital business.

Today, Adevinta is well ahead of its targets and has achieved the scale and efficiency needed to compete with market giants. It will also be in a better position to generate value from future acquisitions, because of its scalable business model and acquisition experience.

We hate waste and want to help our people connect to a new purpose – envisaging a world where sustainable commerce can shape a healthier planet and society.

Nicki Dexter
Adevinta’s Chief People, Workplace and Communications Officer


In large integrations, a clear direction is essential.

Adevinta’s three main aims were to safely exit the transitional arrangements (TSAs) with eBay, achieve the commercial goals originally announced for the deal, and then transform Adevinta for future success. Progress was led by integration director (now COO) Alex Collinet.

Having built up leboncoin (a French classifieds website) from 15 to 1,500 people, Alex had huge internal credibility and he knew the operational and cultural needs of a local marketplace business. Crucially, he believes this gave him the ability to empathise with the business and set pragmatic goals.

“We were asking the business to integrate and transform whilst still hitting huge targets and continuing to grow,” he explains. “You can’t do that unless you understand how the business works and what that’s going to involve.”


Despite Adevinta and eCG being similar in size before the deal, the two organisations were very different in terms of maturity and working culture.

Adevinta’s chief people, workplace and communications officer, Nicki Dexter, and her team worked hard to get the culture for the new organisation right. For Nicki, the biggest takeaway has been the need to put culture first and communicate more than you think necessary.

“We spent a lot of time on surveys, focus groups and interviews to understand what was important,” Nicki explains.

“We retained all the things the businesses loved and scaled them when we put the new organisation together – but we also looked at the things that were holding them back.”

Working with our specialists helped Nicki and her team to find solutions to the challenges that come with bringing two organisations together. This included supporting the team’s work to highlight the importance of change management and making sure it was recognised as a need over and above business-as-usual communications.

You can read more about Adevinta’s transformation in our M&A Transformers Series.

Adevinta was formed in 2019 when the Oslo-based Schibsted Media Group spun off most of its online marketplaces. By 2020, it was bidding to buy its well-established US competitor, eCG.

The US$9.2 billion deal was completed in 2021, and Adevinta had a target to be fully integrated a year later.

It was a huge undertaking, with eCG operating across 12 marketplace businesses in 13 countries and the fledgling Adevinta already spanning 15 nations.

The acquisition and transformation called for Deloitte expertise from Consulting, Tax, Risk Advisory, Financial Advisory and Assurance, drawn from across the UK, Europe and further afield. We advised on multiple aspects, from pre-deal due diligence to transforming functions like HR, Finance, Procurement and Legal.

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