Skype To Be Spun Off, Makes Plans for IPO

A huge shock in the Internet telephony world today, as Skype parent company eBay has announced plans to spin Skype off into it’s own separate company. Additionally, Skype will be taken public with an Initial Public Offering in 2010.

As their blog states:

“Skype is a great stand-alone business with strong fundamentals and accelerating momentum,” said eBay Inc.’s President and CEO, John Donahoe. “But it’s clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and 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. In addition, separating Skype will allow eBay to focus entirely on our two core growth engine – e-commerce and online payments – and deliver long-term value to our stockholders.”

This is huge news, as rumors have been swirling for the past few weeks surrounding Skype’s future. Many thought Skype might be sold off to another firm. Also, there were other rumors that the founders of Skype might try to buy the company back from eBay, after eBay spent $3.1 Billion a few years ago to acquire Skype.

I’ve never thought eBay would sell off Skype to another entity as the company has reliable profits (around $551 million last year) and is strongly positioned in the VoIP telephony market.

Also, Josh Silverman is an excellent CEO thus far and Skype has a fantastic management team all around.

Skype has had great successes in the last few month, including the introduction of their iPhone application, which had amazing download numbers. The app had been downloaded more than 1 million times within 26 hours of it’s debut on the the iTunes store.

I’m anxious to see what’s next out of Skype, the granddaddy of VoIP today.

[Official Press Release]