Ebay Could Sell Skype To Its Founders

Rumour mills have started buzzing around the possibility of eBay selling off Skype for a right price after John Donahoe, eBay’s chief executive, publicly stated that Skype is a “great standalone business”.

Mr Danahoe also went on to mention that Skype has very limited synergies with either eBay or Paypal and it makes better business sense to separate it as distinct publicly traded entity.

Though Mr Danahoe dropped hints at approaching the public markets, reports have emerged that Skype original founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis are in talks with eBay for buying back Skype.

Incidentally the two have the backing of leading private equity firms like Providence Capital and Warburg Pincus and are known to have made an offer of over USD 1 billion.

However the price quoted is way lower that what eBay expects to get for Skype considering the fact that it paid nearly USD 2.6 billion back in 2005 when it brought Skype.

Analysts now point out that the price that eBay had paid for Skype was more than its worth, however it still remains a good purchase as its subscriber base continues to grow at a quick rate and it makes sense for eBay to hold on to it.

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Our Comments

After Stumbleupon, Ebay could well allow another non core acquisition to spin off and look for a better future. This brings up another question. Why did Ebay buy Skype in the first place? There's no need for a rocket scientist to conclude that Ebay and the VoIP company had "limited synergies". Paypal or Kijiji were more straight forward acquisitions. But Skype...

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