As news continues to filter in about Microsoft’s pending multi-billion dollar takeover of Skype, it’s worth taking a step back to look at some of the numbers we’re talking about here.
A number of figures have been bandied about, and with the official announcement likely to be hours away, it seems that somewhere in the region of $8bn will exchange hands. But who’s hands will get what?
Well, it’s commonly reported that EBay sold Skype two years ago…but it still actually owns almost a third of the company. So, going by that, eBay should make a cool $2.5bn (give or take…) if this sale goes ahead as planned.
Of the remaining $5.5bn, it seems that the Skype co-founders – Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis – were wise to retain a 14% stake in the company, as they should pocket a little over $1bn between them.
The big winners are, obviously, the majority shareholders. Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) own 56% of Skype, and will walk away with well over $4.5bn between them.
The investment group initially secured a 65% stake in Skype Technologies from eBay in 2009, which meant they stumped up $1.9bn. Following a law-suit, the co-founders secured their 14% which meant that the investment group only walked away with a 56% stake. But they have more than doubled-up on their initial investment.
What Microsoft does with Skype remains to be seen, but it clearly values Skype and the deal may be a vital step in the company’s plans to keep up with the other major technology pacesetters.