eBay Hangs Up On Skype… Plans IPO

I guess that eBay finally concluded that they overpaid for Skype as they are planning an IPO for the VoIP provider sometime in the first half of 2010:

The IPO could raise $500 million to $1 billion for EBay, depending on how much equity it gives up, Bard said. Skype’s market value could be $3 billion to $5 billion, he said. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will lead the underwriting.

Not bad, but eBay paid $2.6 billion for Skype. I guess they’re okay with that. Then there’s always the possibility that the guys who sold Skype to eBay will buy it back:

Skype’s founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, had approached several private-equity firms about buying the company from EBay, the New York Times reported last week, citing people familiar with the matter.

My guess is that Skype may be sold long before it gets to an IPO. I really don’t see that this is the sort of economic environment for an IPO. But perhaps things may change in 2010. I guess we’ll see.

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