Photo of Skype on a phone.
Skype will be going public soon. CC by PhilWolff/Flickr

Skype has officially filed the SEC paperwork that is the beginning of an initial public offering. The filings included some numbers that were surprising to industry watchers. Users are hoping that the newly complicated structure behind Skype will not affect the service they know and love.

Skype IPO filings reveal financial health

The IPO of Skype is expected to be worth $100 million or more. The revenue and income reported in the Skype SEC filings worry some analysts. In just the last six months, the company reports $406 million in revenue. The net income of Skype was reported at only $13 million. All together, Skype reports a 3 percent net margin. The 9 percent of users who pay for the voice to IP service pay an average of $96 per year.

The structure of ownership for Skype

The ownership structure behind Skype will be complicated after the IPO. American shares in the company are being offered, even though it is based in Luxemborg. There will be three types of owners of the company: private investors, employees and stock holders. These three groups will own stock in Skype S.A. These stocks will be part Skype Global Holdco and part Skype Global. These two holding companies will be split into Skype, Inc. and Springboard Finance, L.L.C. A total of 13 operating companies, including Skype Sweden and Skype Europe, will be operated by Springboard Finance, L.L.C.

How the Skype IPO might change things

This initial public offering of Skype stock is being used to raise operating funds. Offering stocks can, at times, fundamentally change a company. Skype is already making deals with wireless carriers and the iPhone application is proving popular. Skype’s 500 million users will end up having to wait and see what effect the IPO has because not even the IPO date is known for sure.

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