Skype plans $100 million initial offering

By David Goldman, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Skype, the Internet video phone service, is planning a $100 million initial public offering, according to a regulatory filing Monday.

The company said it would offer American depositary shares, and the company's headquarters would remain in Luxembourg.

Since EBay (EBAY, Fortune 500) sold the company in September 2009, Skype has done very well. This year, the company has generated more than $406 million in sales, with 560 million registered users -- up 41% from a year earlier. Paying users, though just a fraction of the overall user base, jumped 23% to 8.1 million from 6.6 million a year ago.

Still, Skype said an IPO can help it do better. In the filing, the company said it had achieved "significant global scale and user growth," but "the penetration of our connected and paying users is low relative to our market opportunity."

Skype made headway when it landed a deal with Verizon Wireless (VZ, Fortune 500) this year. Mobile providers had been hesitant to allow the service to be used on their networks, since Skype users would not have to pay the wireless network for the voice minutes used. But wireless companies are quickly learning that data service can be a strong revenue driver too -- good news for services like Skype and rival Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) Voice, which are starting to be embraced.

EBay bought Skype for $2.6 billion in 2005, only to sell it four years later for $2.75 billion to an investment group led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners. The online auction company had hoped to use Skype to facilitate communication between auction buyers and sellers, but that never quite happened.

EBay actually planned an IPO for Skype, but opted for the straight sale instead.

The match of Skype and EBay may not have panned out, but the company has been a consistent revenue driver for years. EBay estimated that the Internet phone company is on track to break $1 billion in revenue by 2011. To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,580.89 119.19 0.49%
Nasdaq 7,692.82 -20.14 -0.26%
S&P 500 2,754.88 5.12 0.19%
Treasuries 2.90 0.00 0.10%
Data as of 6:31pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Comcast Corp 33.81 1.02 3.11%
Bank of America Corp... 28.99 -0.30 -1.02%
General Electric Co 13.05 0.29 2.27%
AT&T Inc 31.69 0.09 0.28%
Micron Technology In... 57.10 -2.34 -3.94%
Data as of Jun 22
Sponsors

Sections

One of the world's leading smartphone makers is aiming for the biggest stock market listing in nearly two years. More

If Trump puts tariffs on European cars, it would hurt automakers who build a lot of cars in the United States. More

Russian trolls posing as an American college student tweeted about divisive social, political and cultural issues using an account that amassed thousands of followers -- and appeared in dozens of news stories published by major media outlets -- as recently as March. More