In what is bound to be a developing story over the course of the morning, word comes from the New York Times that eBay is set to announce Tuesday the sale of the Skype division to a group of private investors lead by Netscape founder Marc Andreeson.
The investment group is likely to include Andreessen Horowitz, a new venture capital firm headed by the Netscape co-founder Marc Andreessen, these people said. One of the people added that Index Ventures, a London-based venture capital firm that was an early investor in Skype, and the private equity firm Silver Lake Partners were also involved. A price was not disclosed, but eBay has said it wants around $2 billion for Skype, which is on track to take in more than $600 million in revenue this year.
Alan Marks, an eBay spokesman, would not comment on the matter. Mr. Andreessen is on eBay’s board of directors.
The report is anonymously sourced, and none of our sources in the know are up at this hour, so we’ll be posting any tidbits we find out between now and the announcement on the editorial backchannel.
UPDATE: The sale is official. Mashable has the story.
It’s now confirmed: eBay is selling Skype to a group of private investors. The New York Times reported that a deal was imminent late last night, and this morning, eBay officially announced it, along with the price: $2.75 billion.
Specifically, eBay is selling 65 percent of the company to a group that includes Silver Lake, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Investment Board. The auction giant gets $1.9 billion in cash for the stake, along with a note for $125 million.
I’m not an expert on Skype’s P&L sheets, but it not a bad bit of pocket change for eBay, considering that they already wrote down the investment.
More analysis and discussion, as always, here and on the backchannel.