The founders of Skype have managed to wrangle a significant stake in the internet telephony service company by agreeing to give Skype full ownership of Global Index technology and drop all lawsuits that will enable Skype's current owner eBay to sell a majority stake in Skype to an investor group.
Although the settlement was reported this week by the media, (See: Bitter legal battle for Skype technology likely to end: report) eBay, the American online auction company yesterday officially announced that the company and the investor group led by Silver Lake, which had previously entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a majority stake in Skype, (See: eBay to sell Skype to a consortium of private investors) have reached an agreement with Skype founders Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis and their companies Joltid Limited and Joost.
Under the deal, Zennström and Friis will hand over the ownership of Global Index technology to Skype, the software that runs Skype and previously licensed from Joltid, as well as drop all litigation filed against the investor group and eBay.
In return, Zennström and Friis will make significant undisclosed cash investment to acquire a 14-per cent stake in Skype and knock out Index Ventures from the consortium of investors who are proposing to take a majority stake in Skype.
As part of the settlement agreement, Zennström and Friis will hold a 14 per cent stake in Skype, private-equity firm Silver Lake, venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board will together own 56 per cent, while eBay will retain 30 per cent.
eBay said that as previously announced, it will receive approximately $1.9 billion in cash upon the completion of the sale and a note from the buyer in the principal amount of $125 million. The deal, which values Skype at $2.75 billion and is not subject to a financing condition, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2009.