eBay (EBAY -0.1%) is open to taking on more debt as long as doing so doesn't affect its credit rating, says CEO John Donahoe. The remarks come after eBay, which has only $3B in U.S. cash, added $5B to its buyback authorization.
Altogether, eBay had $14B in cash/investments at the end of 2013, and $13.4B in debt.
Donahoe reiterates his opposition to Carl Icahn's call to spin off PayPal, but suggests he could eventually change his mind. "If and when synergies run their course we will be rational in the same way we were rational with Skype."
For his part, PayPal co-founder/Tesla CEO Elon Musk has told Forbes (in a cover story about PayPal) he backs a PayPal split. "It doesn’t make sense that a global payment system is a subsidiary of an auction website. It’s as if Target owned Visa or something."
Forbes' story highlights the culture clash between PayPal and eBay, as PayPal chief David Marcus tries to make the payments giant more agile and mobile-focused. Marcus: "It’s a 13,000-person company where we’re changing everything and rewiring the whole culture … At large companies you always find someone with reasons not to do something."
Meanwhile, Donahoe tries to tone down expectations for eBay's Now same-day delivery service (relies on retail partners). "This is not a major independent business line we want to grow." Amazon (AMZN +2.1%) might be happy to hear those remarks.