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Skype Files for IPO; Seeks $100 Million

Skype, the Internet communications company, has filed to list shares on Nasdaq and hopes to raise $100 million.
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(Skype IPO story updated with further detail from the company's registration statement with the SEC.)



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, the online telephone company, filed to go public on the Nasdaq stock exchange with a goal of raising up to $100 million.

Skype, now based in the tax haven of Luxembourg, was founded in 2003 by a pair of Swedish technology entrepreneurs.


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bought a majority stake in the startup in October 2005 and sold it four years later to a consortium of private-equity firms, including Silver Lake Partners, for about $2 billion.

Skype has registered the predictable high growth rates of such a well-known Internet company, though the pace has slowed amid the recession and as the company has matured. Skype took in $406 million in revenue in the first six months of this year, up 25% from the first half of 2009. The company's annual year-over-year growth rates on the top line clocked in at 44% between 2007 and 2008, but slowed to about 14% between 2008 and 2009.

In the filing, Skype said it had adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the first half of 2009 of about $116 million, up 54% from the $75.2 million it took in a year ago.

Skype's popularity has continued to rise, especially in the realm of international long-distance communications. Of the estimated 406 billion minutes spent on international calls in 2009, Skype-to-Skype calls comprised 13%, according to a telecom industry consulting outfit called TeleGeograpy.

Three bulge-bracket firms --

Goldman Sachs

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-- will serve as lead underwriters on the float.

A slew of other investment-banking stalwarts will also take their piece of the high-profile tech IPO in secondary roles, including

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

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Credit Suisse

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Deutsche Bank

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, among others.

Skype's American depositary shares will be listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market.

-- Written by Scott Eden in New York

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