Investor Carl Icahn, who earlier this year pushed eBay to make PayPal a separate company, says he is pleased with eBay's decision to do so but is not totally satisfied with the timing.
"We are happy that eBay's board and management have acted responsibly concerning the separationperhaps a little later than they should have, but earlier than we expected," Icahn posted in Shareholders Square Table, a site affiliated with the investor. "As I have said in the past and have continued to maintain, it is almost a 'no brainer' that these companies should be separated."
Icahn pushed for eBay to split with PayPal, which it initially acquired in 2002. eBay CEO John Donahoe pushed back, and most payment experts initially were bearish on the spinoff. But eBay changed course, citing its diminishing importance as part of PayPal's business. PayPal will become a separate company by 2015.
While Icahn pushed for PayPal to separate from its e-commerce owner, he doesn't want PayPal to be independent for longhe is now pushing for consolidation among payments companies, led by PayPal.
"It also continues to be my belief that the payments industry, of which PayPal is an important part, must be consolidatedeither through acquisitions made by PayPal or a merger between PayPal and another strong player in the industry," he wrote on the website, suggesting he would use his status as an eBay shareholder to lobby Donahoe, who is expected to leave his post as eBay CEO but remain a board member at eBay and PayPal when the divestiture is complete.