Skype sold by eBay to private investment group

We've all known that Skype has been expected to be sold in the near future, and it's finally been announced, on the official Skype blog, just today.

eBay has announced that they have sold Skype in a 2.75 billion dollar (65% stake) deal this morning, detailing that the buyer is an investment group led by Silver Lake and includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board. According to the Skype blog, eBay will retain about 35% of Skype in the deal, which is to be completed in late 2009.

John Donahoe, eBay Inc. President and CEO commented saying that "This is a great deal, unlocking both immediate and long-term value for eBay and tremendous potential for Skype". He continued on to say that, "Skype is a strong standalone business, but it does not have synergies with our e-commerce and online payments businesses. As a separate company, we believe that Skype will have the focus required to compete effectively in online voice and video communications and accelerate its growth momentum."

Egon Durban, managing director at Silver Lake, the investor involved in the sale, said, "Skype is an innovative, next-generation company that has changed how people and businesses communicate with each other. This transaction benefits all parties involved and will allow Skype the opportunity to accelerate the growth of its business by harnessing the deep technological and company development expertise that resides within the investor group. Josh Silverman has done a strong job leading the company and we look forward to working with Josh and his team to grow the Skype franchise.".

No announcements have been made on the future of Skype as of yet; it's unclear as to what this may mean for users (if anything), and whether or not Skype is still undergoing an overhaul because of a earlier patent claim by Joltid, the original creators of Skype.

Registered Skype users reached 405 million by the end of 2008, a 47 percent increase from 2007, and is still growing in popularity worldwide today.

Thanks to forum user thixkull for the news tip!

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8 Comments

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With all its potential, I remember not long ago eBay was actually complaining that it wasn't making too much money over Skype. Basically, the vast majority of the users use it only to call other pcs, and even those who make phone calls to landline/mobile phones, pay a fee which is too low for the service they actually get.

It's quite a mistery - but I praise them for this - that they haven't put ad banners on the main window just like Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo! Messenger are doing, but probably this will be one of the first things the new company will introduce.
With such a high number of users they would be able to get millions in revenues. As long as I can use it to call anywhere in the world, I'll be a happy user - and it made me even uninstall Windows Live Messenger after 9 years as I wasn't using it anymore.

Great investment, if Skype returns $600,000,000 PA as was stated in a previous article, why on earth would eBay want to sell it? Everything is not as it seems!

Maybe eBay are in need of a cash injection, it is the recesion after all...

A good deal for them in my opinion as they still hold 35% of it which means they get a profit but don't have the responsibility of making the decisions themselves.

Given the patent issue and necessary rewrite, this seems like an odd purchase for the investment firm. I guess this confirms that they will be rewriting it though. LOL

It was stupid of them to buy the company without that technology in the first place...