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eBay Confirms Skype Sale To Investers Including Andreessen

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Netscape founder Marc Andreessen is one of the investors behind a group which has bought voip company Skype from the online sales company eBay

eBay has confirmed that it is selling its Skype Internet telephony unit to investers including Marc Andreessen, in a deal that apparently gets the value back up to $2.75 billion (£1.7 billion).

The group of investors, who will pay $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion) and get 65 percent of Skype, are led by Silver Lake includes Netscape founder Marc Andreessen’s company, Andreessen Horowitz. Skype will hang on to 35 percent of the Voip telephony provider.

Rumours of the deal emerged late on Monday, but it has been confirmed by an eBay press release, and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
“Skype is a strong standalone business, but it does not have synergies with our commerce and online payments businesses,” said eBay chief executive John Donahoe in the eBay release. “As a separate company, we believe that Skype will have the focus required to compete effectively in online voice and videoommunications and accelerate its growth momentum.”

In 2007, eBay took a write-down, effectively admitting that its 2005 purchase of Skype had been overvalued by around $900m (£560m). Since his appointment last year, Donahoe has been looking for a way to deal with the fact that Skype did not gel within eBay, and in April eBay announced plans to float Skype in 2010.

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