BizFeed: Ebay Could Lose $1.4 Billion on King of Prussia Unit

Plus: Local helicopter maker could sell; Hiring is up.

Ken Wolter /

Ken Wolter /

1. Ebay to Take Big Haircut on King of Prussia Unit: Report

The News: Back in 2011, eBay purchased GSI Commerce in King of Prussia, Pa., for $2.4 billion. But now Thomas H. Lee Partners is in “advanced talks” to acquire it for just $1 billion, according to Reuters. The company helps businesses sell goods online and bolster their e-commerce presence.

Why It Matters: Although the business unit made $288 million in revenues in the first quarter, eBay thinks it “does not fit neatly with its PayPal and marketplace divisions,” says Reuters. “It has lost customers and seen sluggish growth in the past few years as its clients move their online operations in-house.”

Just last week, long-time customer Toys R’ Us decided to move its e-commerce operations in-house, seizing control of its online operations for the first time since a disastrous holiday season in 1999 when “its company-managed websites crashed repeatedly,” according to

The Philadelphia Inquirer has even more history on the company, writing that Christopher Saridakis, was “a popular and energetic GSI executive” who was “later sentenced to prison after confessing he had tipped friends to eBay’s offer before it was announced to the public.”

2. Helicopter Maker in Merger Talks

The News: Lockheed Martin is in advanced talks to spend $8 billion to purchase helicopter the Sikorsky helicopter unit of United Technologies, multiple media outlets report. Sikorsky has a big operation in Coatesville, Pa. where it makes the Marine One presidential helicopter as well as the S-92 and S-76D helicopters and other aircraft.

Why It Matters:

For Lockheed, the purchase would be its “largest since it bought Martin Marietta Corp. for roughly $10 billion some 20 years ago, according to S&P Capital IQ,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Sikorsky currently has about 1,060 full-time employees in Coatesville, but is laying off 720 workers as low oil prices have forced its customers — oil companies drilling offshore — to cut back on using Sikorsky’s helicopters to shuttle people to and from offshore rigs.

Still, Sikorsky provides nice growth potential. “Sikorsky boasts a $40 billion backlog, and won several key U.S. military contracts in the past year,” the WSJ reported. Here at home, the company bought its 28-acre Coatesville campus for $17.9 million “after winning a $1.24 billion bid to assemble the next fleet of six presidential Marine One helicopters,” the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

3. Half of All Companies Plan to Hire Full-Timers By End of the Year

The News: A new CareerBuilder study finds that nearly half (49 percent) of all employers plan to hire full-time workers by the end of the year. It also found that 34 percent plan to hire temporary workers. Both figures are up slightly from a year ago.

Why It Matters: It’s just the latest evidence that the hiring climate is vastly improving. It’s starting with the best hiring job market in years for new college graduates and leading to the most talented employees having way more options than in years past. But wages remain stagnant. In fact, CareerBuilder reports that 53.5 percent of companies don’t plan on increasing starting salary offers for next year.