Facebook acquires WhatsApp in $19bn deal


On Wednesday, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company announced a record $19 billion for messaging service WhatsApp. That deal instantly takes WhatsApp cofounders Jan Koum and Brian Acton into the realm of 10-figure fortunes.

Facebook is acquiring mobile messaging company WhatsApp for about $16 billion, plus $3 billion in stock grants, as the social-networking firm looks to boost the overall time users spend on its properties.The deal – which is 25 per cent in cash and the rest in stock – will see the app maintained as a separate entity, with its own headquarters.

WhatsApp has more than 450 million users a month and nearly 1 million sign-ups daily, according to Facebook.

“Our mission is to make the world more open and connected,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a post. “We do this by building services that help people share any type of content with any group of people they want. WhatsApp will help us do this by continuing to develop a service that people around the world love to use every day.” Jan Koum, WhatsApp’s co-founder and chief executive, will join the Facebook board.

Facebook shares dropped as much as 4.8% in after-hours trading Wednesday after the deal was announced. The company’s stock price more than doubled in 2013, and is up 25% year-to-date with a closing price of $68.06 per share Wednesday.

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