Looks like Facebook has just made a monster acquisition as a SEC regulatory filing has revealed it has intentions to acquire messaging app WhatsApp for $12 billion in Facebook shares, $4 billion in cash and $3 billion in restricted stock units.
Facebook today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp, a rapidly growing cross-platform mobile messaging company, for a total of approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years subsequent to closing.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable.”
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum took the company’s blog to say nothing will change with this acquisition and it will remain an independent entity:
Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.
WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. You can continue to enjoy the service for a nominal fee. You can continue to use WhatsApp no matter where in the world you are, or what smartphone you’re using. And you can still count on absolutely no ads interrupting your communication. There would have been no partnership between our two companies if we had to compromise on the core principles that will always define our company, our vision and our product.
Koum also mentioned WhatsApp now has over 450 million monthly active users worldwide and over 320 million daily users. The app was released with a new iOS 7 design back in December.
Back in late 2012, rumours cited Facebook was in talks to acquire WhatsApp but the latter denied they were true. Looks like talks might have started way back when.
We’ve been using their app since day one and even helped troubleshoot an issue for Rogers users directly with Koum back in late 2010. Congrats to the entire WhatsApp team!