Ebay Seeks Skype IPO
Online trade giant Ebay is unloading Skype, the ubiquitious VOIP/chat client. Ebay is not selling Skype, but is, in a sense, auctioning parts of it off in an IPO (initial public offering) to take Skype public.
Though many of us equate Skype with "free", it actually makes quite a bit of money... to the tune of $551 million last year, though premium calls and subscription packages.
The IPO is meant to take place next year.
“Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum,” said eBay CEO John Donahoe. “But it’s clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and PayPal. We believe operating Skype as a stand-alone publicly traded company is the best path for maximizing its potential. This will give Skype the focus and resources required to continue its growth and effectively compete in online voice and video communications. In addition, separating Skype will allow eBay to focus entirely on our two core growth engines—e-commerce and online payments—and deliver long-term value to our stockholders.”
This move comes hot on the heels of Ebay's sale of StumbleUpon back to the little toolbar's founders.
The company notes that Skype had 2008 revenue of $551 million, up 44% from 2007, with segment margin of about 21%, and 405 million users at year end, up 47% from 2007. The company noted that it previously projected revenue for Skype is expected to top $1 billion in 2011.