Thursday 24 April 2014
eBay Raises Billion Pounds In Skype Sale PDF Print E-mail

Skype accounted for around 8% of international calling traffic last yearInternet auction site eBay is selling a 65% stake in its online phone business Skype for £1.2bn.

A group of private equity investors have agreed to buy the controlling shareholding in the company. Skype allows people to make free or cheap voice and video calls on computers and mobile phones. The deal values the company at around £1.7bn and will see eBay retain a 35% stake. John Donahoe, eBay chief executive, said it would unlock "both immediate and long-term value for eBay and tremendous potential for Skype". eBay bought the company in 2005 but announced earlier this year it wanted to spin off the business.

Despite proving popular with punters on the net, Skype failed to take off on the internet auction site as a popular way for buyers and sellers to connect. Acknowledging it overvalued the business, the company took a £557m write-down on Skype in 2007. US research suggests Skype accounted for 8% of international calling traffic last year. The service can typically offer cheaper rates than landline phones by sending voice data over the internet, reducing the need to tie-up dedicated phone lines.

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