As children grow up, parents are often confused. How did he get this way? He's getting to independent! What do we do with him? People warned us this would happen! How does he manage to make long distance calls so cheap?
Oh wait... We're talking about Skype.
EBay, the parent company of Skype, in is the very same conundrum. Having declared that they don't know what to do with Skype anymore. It has decided to let it go, and follow its own destiny. The company will be set up for public offering to be completed by 2010.
Skype's acquisition by eBay four years ago for a surprisingly high $3.1 billion, had led to doubts of what exactly it had to offer to a company like eBay, or in fact what it could offer to Skype without any experience in the field. Although Skype has done quite well in the intervening time, and has managed to 44% growth over 2007 to 2008, it has little in common with eBay and PayPal.
John Donahoe the CEO made this decision after about a year of deliberation, as he commented in a statement: "Skype is a great stand-alone business, but it's clear that Skype has limited synergies with eBay and PayPal. We believe operating Skype as a stand-alone, publicly traded company is the best path for maximizing its potential."
Skype founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis had recently been reported to be looking for investors to to raise $1 billion to buy back Skype. So it is quite possible it may come back to them. With the current economic climate though, a public offering may not be entirely feasible.