The transaction will cost Facebook $19 billion: $4 billion paid in cash and $12 billion paid in Facebook shares. An additional $3 billion will be paid in restricted stock units to WhatsApp founders and employees over a four-year period once the acquisition is completed.
The real-time mobile messaging app — which currently has more than 300 million daily active users — will continue to operate independently as a stand-alone service, and will maintain its own brand image. In addition, Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO will be joining Facebook’s Board of Directors.
“WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people,” noted Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook. “The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable. I’m excited to partner with [WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum] and his team to make the world more open and connected.”
This acquisition news has emerged following Zuckerberg’s attempt to acquire Snapchat for approximately $3 billion. Snapchat is a mobile messaging app that allows users to send photos that disappear once they’re opened for 10 seconds. Some reports point to the WhatsApp acquisition as a way for Facebook to improve its breadth of messaging services.
The filing indicated that Facebook has agreed to pay a breakup fee of $1 billion to WhatsApp should the deal fall through.