Wie erwartet und heute morgen berichtet, hat der E-Commerce-Riese Ebay den Verkauf der ungeliebten Internet-Telefonie-Tochter Skype jetzt offiziell bestätigt. Eine Gruppe von US-Finanzinvestoren hat sich 65 Prozent an dem VoIP-Branchenprimus gekrallt und dafür insgesamt 1,9 Milliarden Dollar an den Mutterkonzern Ebay nach San Jose überwiesen.
35 Prozent der Anteile bleiben nach wie vor bei Ebay. Damit wird die Firma mit 2,75 Milliarden US-Dollar bewertet – Ebay hatte im Jahr 2005 2,6 Milliarden Dollar für Skype gezahlt.
Käufer ist eine Gruppe von Venture-Capital- und Private-Equity-Unternehmen darunter Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz und der Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board. Zu dieser illustren Financiers-Gruppe gehört auch der Internet-Pionier und Netscape-Erfinder Marc Andreessen, Partner bei Andreessen Horowitz.
Offizielle eBay-Pressemitteilung zum Deal nach dem Seitenwechsel.
eBay Inc. Signs Definitive Agreement to Sell Skype in Deal Valuing Communications Business at $2.75 Billion
eBay to Receive Approximately $1.9 Billion in Cash; Retain Approximately 35 Percent Stake
SAN JOSE, Calif.–September 01, 2009–
eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Skype communications unit in a deal valuing the business at $2.75 billion. The buyer, who will control an approximately 65 percent stake, is an investor group led by Silver Lake and includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board. eBay is expected to
receive approximately $1.9 billion in cash upon the completion of the sale and a note from the buyer in the principal amount of $125 million. The company will retain an approximately 35 percent equity investment in Skype. The transaction, which is not subject to a financing condition, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.
“This is a great deal, unlocking both immediate and long-term value for eBay and tremendous potential for Skype,” said eBay Inc. President and CEO John Donahoe. “We’ve acted decisively on a deal that delivers a high valuation, gives us significant cash up-front and lets us retain a meaningful minority stake with talented partners. Skype is a strong standalone business, but it does not have synergies with our e-commerce and online payments businesses. As a separate company, we believe that Skype will have the focus required to compete effectively in online voice and video communications and accelerate its growth momentum.”
Commenting on the deal, Egon Durban, managing director at Silver Lake, said: “Skype is an innovative, next-generation company that has changed how people and businesses communicate with each other. This transaction benefits all parties involved and will allow Skype the opportunity to accelerate the growth of its business by harnessing the deep technological and company development expertise
that resides within the investor group. Josh Silverman has done a strong job leading the company and we look forward to working with Josh and his team to grow the Skype franchise.”
In April 2009, eBay announced plans to separate Skype from the company, beginning with an IPO in 2010. The decision followed a year-long review of Skype within eBay’s portfolio. As it prepared for an IPO, the company said it would naturally consider bids for Skype that offered an attractive valuation. Donahoe said the deal offered by the investor group achieved that.
“This deal achieves our goal of delivering short- and long-term value to eBay and its stockholders, without the possible delays and market risk of an IPO,” Donahoe said. “Selling Skype now at this great valuation, while retaining an equity stake, makes sense for the company. And it allows us to focus all of our energies on the opportunities in front of PayPal and eBay.”
Acquired by eBay in 2005, Skype has strengthened considerably since early 2008 when Donahoe was named eBay’s CEO and tapped company executive Josh Silverman to lead Skype. Silverman has driven strong momentum while building a new management team and delivering a series of Skype innovations such as software upgrades with dramatically improved video and calling quality, the widely popular Skype iPhone app and mobile partnerships with companies such as Nokia and Hutchison. In 2008,
Skype generated revenues of $551 million, a 44 percent increase compared to 2007. Total eBay Inc. revenues for 2008 were $8.5 billion. Registered Skype users reached 405 million by the end of 2008, a 47 percent increase from 2007. Skype is attracting hundreds of thousands of new users each week.