WASHINGTON: Online auction giant EBay announced on Tuesday that it was selling Skype to a group of investors for 1.9 billion dollars and retaining a 35 percent stake in the Internet communications firm.

EBay said in a statement that it had signed an agreement to sell Skype in a deal valuing the business at 2.75 billion dollars.

It identified the buyer, who will control an approximately 65 percent stake, as an investor group led by Silver Lake and includes Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.

EBay said it is expected to receive approximately 1.9 billion dollars in cash upon the completion of the sale and a note from the buyer in the principal amount of 125 million dollars.

EBay said it will retain a 35 percent equity investment in Skype.

It said the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of the year.

EBay purchased Skype in 2005 for a price tag that eventually exceeded 3.1 billion dollars, including payouts to Web entrepreneurs Niklas Zennstrom of Sweden and Janus Friis of Denmark, who founded the company in 2003.