WhatsApp Founders Become Billionaires
In $19 Billion Facebook Deal
Facebook just made two more Silicon Valley entrepreneurs into billionaires.
On Wednesday, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company announced a record $19 billion for messaging service WhatsApp, instantly taking its cofounders Jan Koum and Brian Acton into the realm of 10-figure fortunes. FORBES estimates that Koum held about a 45% stake in the company, while Acton’s stake was over 20%.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook said it would be paying for the deal with nearly 184 million shares, $4 billion in cash and nearly 46 million restricted stock units (RSUs), valuing the acquisition at over $19 billion. After disregarding the RSUs, which are not immediately exercisable, and assessing taxes, FORBES estimates that Koum is worth $6.8 billion while
Acton is worth at least $3 billion as of Facebook’s closing
share price on Wednesday.
Messages left with WhatsApp were not immediately returned on Wednesday.