eBay spinning off Skype, IPO coming in 2010

by admin April 14, 2009 at 11:17 pm

Having failed to realize the synergies it hoped for after buying Skype for $2.6 billion in fall 2005, eBay has decided to spin it off via an IPO next year.

Over the weekend, rumors surfaced that Skype’s founders, Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, were attempting to buy the VoIP service back from eBay. It turns out that, yes, eBay is intent on getting rid of Skype, but it won’t be sold right back to its founders. Instead, the online auction giant will spin off the VoIP service via an IPO some time in 2010.

When eBay first purchased Skype from Zennström and Friis in September 2005, we were skeptical of the synergies eBay hoped to realize from the purchase. With the spinoff announcement, it looks as though eBay has realized this as well. “Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum,” said eBay CEO, John Donahoe in a statement. “But it’s clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and PayPal. We believe operating Skype as a stand-alone publicly traded company is the best path for maximizing its potential.”

Read more: arstechnica.com