eBay Sells Skype, Which is Worth $2.75 Billion
Update: The announcement has been made. Some details from the press release:
eBay signed a definitive agreement to sell its Skype in a deal valuing the business at $2.75 billion. The buyer, who will control an approximately 65 percent stake, is an investor group led by Silver Lake and includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board. eBay is expected to receive approximately $1.9 billion in cash upon the completion of the sale and a note from the buyer in the principal amount of $125 million. The company will retain an approximately 35 percent equity investment in Skype. The transaction, which is not subject to a financing condition, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Do you think Skype is worth $2.75 billion? Tell us what you think.
Original Article: Word from the New York Times is that eBay is expected to announce the sale of Skype today to a group of private investors. This group is rumored to include Andreessen Horowitz, the new VC firm from Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, started earlier this summer. Andreessen is on eBay’s board.
Other firms rumored to be involved are Silver Lake Partners and Index Ventures, which was an early investor in Skype. eBay reportedly wants about $2 billion, though a price was not confirmed. According to the Times, Skype is set to bring in over $600 million this year.
Back in April, eBay announced that it planned to separate Skype from the company, beginning with an IPO in the first half of 2010, depending on market conditions.
"Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum," said eBay President and CEO, John Donahoe back then. "But it’s clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and PayPal. We believe operating Skype as a stand-alone publicly traded company is the best path for maximizing its potential."
He later said that the company was still open to offers, and that they intended to "maximize the value of Skype. Period." He said that any reasonable offers made between then and 2010 would be evaluated.
We’ll have to wait for the announcement to be made before we can get any definitive details. eBay acquired Skype back in 2005.
In other Skype news, they’re getting ready to double connection fees. Users will love that.