12 Apr 2009

Skype founders looking to buy back company: report

7:45 am on 12 April 2009

The founders of Skype are reportedly seeking to buy back the internet telephone service that they sold to eBay in 2005.

Niklas Zennstrom from Sweden and Janus Friis from Denmark founded Skype in 2003 and sold it to eBay two years later for $US2.6 billion.

The New York Times reported on Friday they are now seeking to raise $US1 billion from private equity firms to reclaim the business.

The paper reported eBay would be looking to sell for at least $US1.7 billion.

Skype relies on mostly free user-to-user calls. Revenue in the 2008 fourth quarter was $US145 million.

However, since its sale, the number of Skype users has risen from 53 million registered users to 405 million users.

Skype, which has its headquarters in Luxembourg, bypasses the standard telephone network by channeling calls over the Internet.