[Updated] eBay to announce Skype sale today
The New York Times is reporting that eBay has concluded a deal to sell Skype. Sources close to the deal say it is to be announced later today. No price has yet been disclosed (nor is it likely to be, IMHO).
The NYT was also told that eBay was negotiating with Google to buy Skype, but that Google walked away from the deal, worried that current legal fights over the technology on which Skype is based could leave it liable for huge damages, and that owning Skype would alienate wireless carriers who sell phones using Google’s Android software.
Updated to add: It’s been confirmed that eBay is to sell a 65% stake in Skype for $2.75bn to an investor group led by Silver Lake and including Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board. This looks like a pretty good deal for eBay.
For those wishing for further info….
Still speculation, rumour and repeating what’s in the NYT.
Tis madness to me. Skype’s already run as a separate company and is making good money. eBay aren’t short of a shilling and have already taken a hit on the price.
Why not just work out a deal to license/buy the technology from Joltid and have done with it? Sit on Skype and take the profits or sit on Skype until the markets pick up and get full value instead of what will essentially be a liquidation sale and wash their hands of it?
Madness it maybe, but this is financial markets. Shareholder pressure to sell non-core assets? Keep stock higher? Management wouldn’t benefit from stock bonus options would they?
I’m still amazed ebay didn’t do due diligence when buying Skype.
I’ll be interested to see where the money comes from and goes to. One of eBay’s biggest problems isn’t the lack of liquidity, it’s the fact that so much of their funds are outside the US and it would be punitive from a tax perspective to repatriate those funds.
If the money goes directly to them in the US it won’t do them any harm at all. If it ends up sitting off shore from the US it’s a waste of time as they already have enough sloshing about in Europe and the rest of the world.