Facebook has finally closed the acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, according to a public filing with the US SEC. This news comes a week after Facebook received regulatory approval from the European Union and more than seven months after the deal was first announced. The deal, which was originally valued at $19 billion, is currently worth about $22 billion because of a 14% increase in Facebook’s share price over the past seven months. Facebook paid $4.59 billion in cash and 178 million shares of its stock for WhatsApp.
WhatsApp founder Jan Koum will continue to head the company and has been appointed to Facebook’s Board of Directors. He will receive an inducement grant of about 24 million Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) valued at approximately $2 billion. Facebook also awarded about 46 million RSUs to WhatsApp employees that will vest over a four-year period.
Europe’s telecommunications industry had been opposing the deal stating that it would hamper competition. However, European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia cleared the deal last week.
WhatsApp numbers: The mobile messaging app claimed to have 600 million monthly active users globally (as of August 25, 2014). In India, WhatsApp claims to have close to 65 million monthly active users, which makes India the largest market for the company. However, India is not yet a significant revenue market for the company.
Now that the deal is officially completed, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of influence Facebook will have over WhatsApp. Will we see brand integrations and ads on WhatsApp, something WhatsApp Business Head Neeraj Arora had said will never happen?