Skype files for $100 million IPO

The ghost of bidders past

Would-be Internet telephony giant Skype has filed the paperwork for an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq, the company has announced.

The exact share price range has not been revealed but it is believed the company is looking to raise around $100 million (£62.7 million) when they go on sale, probably later this year.

If that sounds like a modest sum, bear in mind that despite the reach of its brand, Skype is believed to be barely profitable on turnover in the region of just over $400 million in the first six months of this year.

It has also endured just emerged from a complicated period during which it was bought out from owner eBay by a group of investors, and also settled a hugely costly legal dispute with its founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis.

Skype has undoubtedly been the single big winner from the idea that consumers will embrace making phone calls over the Internet using VoIP. The problem is that this has turned out not to be as lucrative as eBay, for onc, thought it might be when it paid well over the odds to buy the startup for $2.6 billion in late 2005.

EBay itself had raised the possibility of an IPO but decided to sell on its stake instead.

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John E Dunn

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