eBay to repatriate $9bn in cash to US

John Donahoe Mr Donahoe said it makes more sense for the firm to hold its cash in the US

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E-commerce giant eBay has said it is repatriating almost $9bn (£5.3bn) of its cash held overseas back to the US.

The firm said the move, which will see it paying taxes of $3bn on the cash, would help it access funds for any potential acquisitions in the country.

Many US firms have kept some of their cash overseas, a move widely seen as a way to avoid high US tax rates.

On Tuesday, Apple raised $12bn via a bond sale, rather than bring back some of the $159bn it holds offshore.

However, the chief executive of eBay said the company could utilise its cash in the US as it looks to expand its business.

"If you look at our last 15 acquisitions, my guess is ten have been inside the US, maybe 11," John Donahoe said.

"Just looking at that versus where our cash is located, you just say, alright it would make more sense to have more cash in the US for mergers and acquisitions."

The firm disclosed the move as it reported its earnings for the first quarter of 2014. Its revenues rose 14% compared with same period last year, to $4.3bn.

However, the tax charge over the repatriation of its overseas cash drove the firm into a net loss of $2.3bn.

eBay also issued a weaker-than-expected forecast for the current quarter.

It forecast a profit of between 67 cents and 69 cents per share in the second quarter. Many analysts were expecting a figure of 70 cents.

The weak outlook saw the firm's share fall nearly 4.5% in after-hours trading.

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