After much speculation, eBay finally announced the sale of its popular Skype internet telephony service yesterday in a $2.75bn (£1.7bn) deal with a number of investors.
The group of buyers, which will control around 65 per cent of Skype, is led by Silver Lake, and includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, according to eBay.
John Donahoe, president of eBay, admitted that Skype does not have synergies with its e-commerce and online payments businesses, and would have more focus and momentum as a separate company.
"This is a great deal, unlocking both immediate and long-term value for eBay and tremendous potential for Skype," he added. "We have acted decisively on a deal that delivers a high valuation, gives us significant cash upfront and lets us retain a meaningful minority stake with talented partners."
EBay will be pleased to have clawed back most of the money it paid for Skype in 2005. The VoIP service generated revenues of $551m (£339m) last year, a 44 per cent increase compared to 2007, and is attracting hundreds of thousands of new users every week, according to eBay.
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