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eBay completes Skype sale

WASHINGTON: Online auction giant eBay announced on Thursday, 19 November 2009, it had completed its sale of Skype to an investment group that includes the two founders of the Web communications company.
eBay completes Skype sale

The previously announced sale of a 70% stake in Skype for some two billion dollars had been held up by lawsuits filed by Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis.

Zennstrom, a Swede, and Friis, a Dane, settled the suits this month and will hold a 14% stake in Skype through their new company, Joltid Ltd.

Fifty-six percent will be held by an investor group led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and others.

EBay will retain a 30% equity investment in Skype.

EBay received US$1.9 billion in cash and a note for US$125 million for the 70% stake in Skype.

The deal values Skype at US$2.75 billion.

EBay purchased Skype from Zennstrom and Friis in 2005 for a price tag that eventually exceeded US$3.1 billion.

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

It allows users to call others free of charge and provides the ability to connect with land lines or mobile devices at low rates.

Source: AFP

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