Well, stop the presses, folks! Skype may have failed in its efforts to buy itself away from eBay, but that doesn’t mean the online auction site is going to be holding onto the telephony service in the long term. Today, eBay announces that they will spin Skype off with an IPO next year. Scheduled for the first half of the year, the exact timing will depend on market conditions.
Back in 2005, eBay bought Skype for $1.3B in cash and $1.3B in stock. The deal could actually pay out even more (for a maximum total of $4B), provided the telephony service met certain goals by 2008.
However, by Q307, eBay took a $1.4B impairment charge on Skype. Rumors have long circulated that eBay would sell the site, which never seemed to align with its strategy in the first place.
In a statement, eBay CEO Jeff Donahoe noted:
Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum. 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.
Again with these “synergies.” Meaningless buzz words FTW!
So now that eBay’s getting back down to its fighting weight, where will the online auction giant go next?