Deals wrap: Microsoft acquires Skype for $8.5 billion

May 10, 2011

Microsoft plans to buy internet telephone network Skype for $8.5 billion, the biggest purchase ever for the world’s largest software company as it seeks to regain ground on growing rivals. The money-losing Skype has 145 million users on average each month and has gained favor among small business users. The deal would also give Microsoft a foothold in the potentially lucrative video-conferencing market. Skype, which is minority owned by eBay, allows people to make calls at no charge but also offers some paid features.

This article in the Guardian by Graeme Wearden asked telecoms analysts what they think about the Microsoft-Skype deal.

Reuters columnist Felix Salmon gives his opinion on how being public eases acquisitions for companies, using the Microsoft-Skype deal and Facebook’s earlier interest in Skype as an example. Salmon writes that had Facebook been public, it could have snapped up Skype itself instead of having Microsoft buy it to keep it out of Google’s hands.

Deutsche Boerse’s works council is refusing to back a merger proposal with NYSE Euronext, according to two people familiar with the company’s thinking. The exchange is close to releasing a formal statement on behalf of the management and supervisory board, a formal part of German corporate governance in a takeover situation.

Buyout firms Blackstone and KKR are weighing up offers for France Telecom’s stake in Mobistar, sources familiar with the situation said. The deal could value Belgium-based Mobistar at more than 3 billion euros ($4.3 billion).

Chemicals group DuPont said it was confident its increased $6.4 billion offer for Danisco would succeed, after a hedge fund stoked uncertainty over the takeover. DuPont affirmed that its revised bid of 700 Danish crowns ($135) per share for Danisco was its “best and final” offer.

Upscale handbag maker Coach is planning to list shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, a move the New York-based company said reflected the importance of China’s luxury market. Last month, Coach said sales at its Chinese stores open a year had risen by a double-digit percentage.


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