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!