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EBay completes sale of Skype for US$2 billion

EBAY has completed its sale of Skype for about US$2 billion to an investor group that included the founders of the Internet phone service.

Last week, the online auction site settled a legal skirmish with co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis which allowed the deal to move forward. The settlement gave Skype ownership of critical software that had been licensed from the company they founded, Joltid Ltd.

Ebay said yesterday it sold a 70 percent stake in the company for about US$1.9 billion plus US$125 million that it will receive at a later date. The company is keeping the remaining 30 percent stake.

The settlement means Zennstrom and Friis get a 14 percent stake in Skype. The investor group, led by Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Andreessen Horowitz, get 56 percent ownership.

San Jose, California-based Ebay Inc. also purchased senior debt securities worth US$50 million to help finance the deal.


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