EBay completes Skype sale

EBay completes Skype sale

Washington: Online auction giant eBay announced Thursday it had completed its sale of Skype to an investment group that includes the two founders of the Web communications company.

The previously announced sale of a 70% stake in Skype for some $2 billion 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.

56% 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 $1.9 billion in cash and a note for $125 million for the 70% stake in Skype.

The deal values Skype at $2.75 billion.

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

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

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