WhatsApp acquisition deal closes, but Facebook shelled out nearly $3 billion extra
Facebook is now the official owner of popular messaging app WhatsApp after the social networking giant confirmed the closure of the acquisition deal in a document filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
The filing confirms that WhatsApp will live on as an independent subsidiary of Facebook , same as Instagram which the social giant bought for about $715.3 (£447.3) million, and that the messaging app’s co-founder and CEO Jan Koum will become a member of the company’s board of directors. While Koum’s salary will be a dollar a year, he will be entitled to receive nearly $2 billion in stock, vesting over a four-year period.
The Facebook-WhatsApp acquisition, claimed to be as one of the biggest acquisition in the tech world till date, was announced way back in February. The deal will cost the social networking giant a whopping $19 billion dollars, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares.
However, the final deal price is almost $22 billion, higher than the $19 billion announced earlier, to reflect the increased value of Facebook’s stock in recent months.
The acquisition received approval from the European Union regulators on Friday. Explaining the reason behind approving the deal in a statement the Commission said Facebook and WhatsApp were “not close competitors” and that consumers would continue to have a wide choice of alternative communication apps even after the deal is met.
Launched in 2009, WhatsApp currently has some 600 million global users which it expects will reach 1 billion in next few years.
Facebook’s shares climbed around 32 cents to $77.76 in afternoon trading on Monday.