Social networking giant Facebook has announced that it will purchase the popular instant messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion. The US-based company released a statement in which it said that it would pay $4 billion in cash and $15 billion in shares as part of the latest deal.
The founders and employees of the app will get $3 billion of the shares as restricted stock, which will vest in the upcoming four years following the closure of the deal. The newest purchase by the social networking giant will mark its biggest acquisition in the company’s ten-year history.
WhatsApp is a popular messaging application which has more than 450 million monthly users. The application has over one million new registered users on a daily basis. However, Facebook said that the app will continue to operate independently and will keep its brand. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook said, “WhatsApp is on a path to connect one billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable”.
The CEO went on to say that he has known the founder of the app, Jan Koum for a long time and is excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected. Zuckerberg also pointed out that the service does not get much attention in the United States, as it started growing in Europe, India and Latin America.
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