Skype is looking to go public with shares worth $100 million, having filed the request with the US Securities and Exchange commission. The shares are expected to be listed on the Nasdaq later this year.
The exact number of shares to be offered and the all-important price have not yet been determined however. Goldman Sachs & CO, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley & Co. will be joint global co-ordinators.
The move comes less than a year after eBay sold its 65 per cent stake in the company to private equity firm Silver Lake Partners for $1.9 billion. This sale followed an unsuccessful merger between Skype and eBay, but the auction site did retain a 30 per cent share, while founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis bought back 14 per cent.
Skype has become virtually the by-word for VoIP in the consumer space since its launch in 2003 and dominates on both the desktop and on mobile. While technologically, Skype offers little over rival SIP based communications, as Skype points out in the filing, the reason for its future success, lies mainly in its current success.
“We believe the scale, global distribution and growth of our user base provide us with powerful network effects, whereby Skype becomes more valuable as more people use it, thereby creating an incentive for existing users to encourage new users to join,” the company said in its filing.
It’s probably right.
Link: Skype SEC filing.