Ebay has confirmed that it has sold nearly two thirds of Skype to a group of private investors for $1.9 billion in a deal that values the VoIP company at around $2.75 billion.
This is around 11 percent lower than the total outlay of $3.1 billion that Ebay paid to acquire Skype in 2005 and Ebay is still keeping a minority stake of 35 percent.
The auction powerhouse was forced to write off $1.4 billion off the value of the outfit after it became clear that Skype wasn't a natural fit for Ebay.
According to AllthingsDigital, the new owners of Skype are Silicon Valley-based private equity group, Silver Lake; London-based VC firm, Index ventures; Andreessen Horowitz fund featuring the man behind Netscape, Mark Andreessen; and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board.
It is another major coup for Andreessen, one of the most influential figures of Silicon Valley. Netscape's cofounder has also invested and helped a number of high profile start-ups including Digg, Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook.
John Donahoe, eBay's CEO, publicly stated back in April that Skype would be a great standalone business and there were rumours that company might be flogged back to its original founders especially as they had planned to take Ebay to the courts over licensed P2P technology used by Skype.
Back in February 2008, Jason Calacanis revealed to the audience of week in tech (TWIT) that Google was looking to buy Skype for a sum that would leave Ebay with a profit.
A person closed to the negotiations confirmed to the NY Times that this took place last month but ultimately, Google gave up because it might cause prejudice to Android, which the search giant is trying to marketing to mobile phone operators.
The news appears to have been given some hope to Ebay shareholders; the share price of the company jumped to more than $23 earlier today. This is more than double the price the shares fetched back in March this year but is still half what it was worth back in January 2006..
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