Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $16 Billion, Stock Sinks on News

Facebook has acquired WhatsApp for $16 billion.

The world’s largest social network acquired the popular mobile messaging app for $12 billion in stock and $4 billion in cash. That pegs WhatsApp, which has only ever raised a modest $8 million in venture capital, at a worth of $345 million per employee.

WhatsApp promises the acquistion won’t change its app: “WhatsApp will remain autonomous and operate independently. 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.”

Here’s what Facebook’s founder and CEO said: “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable. I’ve known [cofounder of WhatsApp] Jan [Koum] for a long time and I’m excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected.”

Koum will become a Facebook executive and join the company’s board of directors.

“WhatsApp’s extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We’re excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world,” added Koum.

Shares in Facebook are down 5% in afterhours trading following the announcement.