Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Ebay - Skype - Final Chapter

Almost 4 years ago to the day, I noted that "deal fever" had gripped Ebay and led it into an ill-fated $4.1B acquisition of Skype. 2 years ago, Ebay, took a massive $1.4B writedown on the acquisition, conceding that they had overpaid.

Today, Ebay announced the divestiture of a controlling interest in Skype in a deal that values the company at $2.75B. While the deal not working out is hardly shocking, it is somewhat surprising that Ebay was able to recover as much as it did, selling 65% of Skype for $1.9B in cash (of course, you can be sure that the private equity investors conditioned the deal on a long-term commercial relationship between Skype and Ebay; that deal may well include revenue commitments).

In any event, it's always good to see a little dealmaking discipline - even when it's cleaning up the mess that deal fever can create.

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