January 26, 2011 / 9:02 PM / 9 years ago

Skype puts IPO on hold until second half 2011-WSJ

* Skype IPO could occur as early as July-report

* Owners could seek $5 bln to $6 bln in event of sale

NEW YORK, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Skype Ltd will hold off on an initial public offering until the second half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

A Skype IPO could occur as early as July, according to the report, which cited people familiar with the matter.

In November sources told Reuters that Skype would go public in 2011. At the time, the company was still assessing a number of factors such as the current IPO inventory and its own preparedness. [ID:nN01173796]

Skype’s new chief executive, Tony Bates, who was hired in October, would make a decision about the right timing for the offering once he becomes more familiar with staff and products, the sources said at the time.

Once the deal occurs, the value of the IPO will range from $750 million to $1 billion, Reuters reported previously. A spokesperson for Skype was not immediately available for comment.

Although Skype is still focused on going public, the Wall Street Journal said Skype’s owners, led by private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, would seek between $5 billion and $6 billion were the company to be sold now. (Reporting by Nadia Damouni and Sinead Carew in New York)

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