EBay unveils Skype spin off plan

EBay is to spin off Skype after concluding that the online call service does not fit with its existing businesses.

The company says it intends to complete a sale of shares, known as an initial public offering (IPO), by the middle of next year, although the specific timing of the IPO will be based on “market conditions”.

Some analysts have suggested that Skype could justify a value of more than $2.5bn. It was bought by eBay for $2.6bn in 2005.  

In a statement, the eBay says although Skype “is a great stand-alone business” it has “limited synergies” with its other businesses, namely the auction site eBay and payment service 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,” it says.

It has been reported that the founders of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis were looking to raise the money to buy the service back from eBay with private equity backing.

Skype has about 405 million registered users and reported $550m in sales last year.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here