e, a provider of Internet telephone services, plans to raise up to $100m (£62.8m) in an initial public offering of its shares in the US, according to filings made to regulators yesterday.
Analysts said this could be a bid by Skype’s private equity owners to recoup some of their investment of more than $2bn when they bought the company in November or an effort to entice other technology or telecom companies into a deal.
The filing for Luxembourg-based Skype, which provides free online video and text conversations popular with users such as college students studying abroad, did not specify the number of shares it would sell or give an expected price range.
Skype, which expects to trade on Nasdaq, has drawn a large number of customers with free computer-to-computer services while a small percentage of its customers use Skype to make calls to traditional phones at discounted rates.
Only 8.1m or 6.5 per cent of Skype’s 124m average monthly users were paying customers in the second quarter of 2010, the company said it in the filing. Skype had 560m registered users in the first half of 2010.
The firm is led by chief executive Josh Silverman.