2 Sep 2009

eBay sells majority stake in Skype

7:20 am on 2 September 2009

Online auction site eBay is selling a majority stake in the internet phone company Skype for about $US2 billion.

The 65% stake has been bought by a group of private investors, including Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen and private equity firms.

EBay will keep a 35% stake in the company, which it has been trying to sell for some time, saying Skype had limited synergies with its core business.

The deal values Skype at $US2.75 billion. eBay bought Skype for $US2.6 billion in 2005 and most analysts say the purchase was a mistake.

The new owners are Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures - which originally invested in Skype - as well as private equity firm Silver Lake and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

They will pay $US1.9 billion in cash and give a $US125 million note to eBay, meaning thet promise to pay that amount on demand or at an agreed time.