ON February 19, 2014,Facebook Inc will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $16 billion in cash and stock, as the world’s largest social network looks for ways to boost its popularity, especially among a younger crowd.
Facebook said on Wednesday it will pay $4 billion in cash and about $12 billion in stock in its single largest acquisition, dwarfing the $1 billion it paid for photo-sharing app Instagram.
I’m excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire WhatsApp and that their entire team will be joining us at Facebook. – Mark Zuckerberg
WhatsApp is a simple, fast and reliable mobile messaging service that is used by over 450 million people on every major mobile platform. More than 1 million people sign up for WhatsApp every day and it is on its way to connecting one billion people. More and more people rely on WhatsApp to communicate with all of their contacts every day.
WhatsApp will continue to operate independently within Facebook. The product roadmap will remain unchanged and the team is going to stay in Mountain View. Over the next few years, we’re going to work hard to help WhatsApp grow and connect the whole world. We also expect that WhatsApp will add to our efforts forInternet.org, our partnership to make basic internet services affordable for everyone.
Shares in Facebook slid 5 percent to $64.70 after hours, from a close of $68.06 on the Nasdaq.
As part of the deal, WhatsApp co-founder and Chief Executive Jan Koum will join Facebook’s board, and the social network will grant an additional $3 billion worth of restricted stock units to WhatsApp’s founders, including Koum.
Also, Facebook promised to keep the WhatsApp brand and service, and pledged a $1 billion cash break-up fee were the deal to fall through.
Facebook was advised by Allen & Co, while WhatApp has enlisted Morgan Stanley for the deal.