KKR, Warburg, Providence and Elevation Surface in Skype Bid

A quartet of private-equity firms have joined forces for a leveraged buyout of a global telecommunications firm with hundreds of millions of users.

And no, this isn’t a blog post from 2006.

A group including KKR, Warburg Pincus, Providence and Elevation Partners recently teamed up to back the founders of Skype in an attempt to buy back their free Internet calling service from eBay (EBAY), according to people familiar with the bid.

Founders Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis originally approached eBay about repurchasing Skype, which acquired the service for $2.6 billion in 2005. eBay encouraged them to make an offer, and the Scandinavian billionaires rounded up a group of private-equity firms to back them, the person familiar with the bid said.

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