UPDATED: eBay confirms Skype sale

Will the deal go through?

eBay has sold Skype in a deal worth $2.75 billion although it will keep hold of more than a third as an equity investment.

The VoIP specialist's new parent who will buy a 65 per cent stake in the company - is a venture capitalist (VC) group led by Silver Lake and includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board. eBay will hold of the remaining 35 per cent.

eBay bought the VoIP company back in 2005 for $2.6 billion but the sale today is expected to be around the $2 billion mark.

John Donahoe, eBay's chief executive, confirmed in April that it planned to spin-off the company as it had little in common with the less than profitable acquisition, but it was thought it wouldn't happen until sometime in 2010.

The acquisition deal announced today is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year, subject to regulatory approval.

"This is a great deal, unlocking both immediate and long-term value for eBay and tremendous potential for Skype," Donahoe said in a statement.

"We've acted decisively on a deal that delivers a high valuation, gives us significant cash up-front and lets us retain a meaningful minority stake with talented partners. Skype is a strong standalone business, but it does not have synergies with our e-commerce and online payments businesses. As a separate company, we believe that Skype will have the focus required to compete effectively in online voice and video communications and accelerate its growth momentum."

Egon Durban, managing director of Silver Lake, added in a statement: "Skype is an innovative, next-generation company that has changed how people and businesses communicate with each other. This transaction benefits all parties involved and will allow Skype the opportunity to accelerate the growth of its business by harnessing the deep technological and company development expertise that resides within the investor group."

He added: "Josh Silverman has done a strong job leading the company and we look forward to working with Josh and his team to grow the Skype franchise."

For more detail on the way VCs work, take a look at our feature.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.