Skype's co-founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis are reportedly approaching private equity firms in an attempt to collect resources for a buy-back of the software company they sold to eBay back in 2005 for $2.6 billion, which later amounted to some $3.1 billion via bonus payouts.
Not surprisingly, eBay’s chief executive John Donahoe has openly suggested that he is willing to sell it for the right price
, acknowledging that it holds no true ties to eBay’s core business functions and even called Skype a “great standalone business”
Despite the lack of synergy between Skype and eBay, Skype is doing well in their hands, having generated $126 million in the first quarter, up 61 percent from a year ago, and is expected to generate $500 million in revenues this year. While official negotiations have yet to commence, analysts estimate that eBay is looking for at least $1.7 billion, the value of Skype after writing off a portion of the acquisition in 2007.
Since selling Skype, Zennstrom and Friis have created the venture capital firm Atomico
and backed the online video service Joost