Skype’s two founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, who in 2005 sold Skype to eBay (EBAY) for $2.6 billion, and later received bonus payouts that increased the final price to $3.1 billion, have show interest in buying the service back from eBay.
According to The New York Times (NYT) – one person with knowledge of their discussions said both founders were trying to raise about $1 bln in equity from private investors, and were discussing one case in which eBay itself would put up the rest of the financing in the form of a seller’s note to complete a deal worth more than $2 billion.
Skype has more than 400 million registered users, up from 53 million when eBay bought it four years ago. The service had $145 million in revenue in Q4’08.
Analysts estimate that eBay is looking for a price of at least $1.7 billion.