Social media giant Facebook will acquire mobile messaging company WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars in a cash and stock deal, the largest acquisition by the Mark Zuckerberg-led firm so far that will give it a stronghold in the market for messaging.
The whopping acquisition price includes USD 4 billion in cash, about USD 12 billion worth of Facebook shares and USD 3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees that will vest over four years following the closing of the deal.
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.”
Facebook said it would keep WhatsApp as a separate service, just as it did with Instagram, which it bought for about $715.3 million.
The social media giant also said WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum would join Facebook’s board.