Whatsapp Founders Own Nearly $9 Billion In Facebook Stock
San Francisco: WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton received 116 million shares of Facebook stock currently worth nearly $9 billion when they sold their unprofitable messaging service to the social networking leader earlier this month.
The breakdown of the big winners in Facebook's $22 billion acquisition emerged yesterday in a regulatory filing.
Koum, a Ukraine immigrant who was once living on welfare, reaped the biggest jackpot with 76.4 million Facebook shares now worth $5.8 billion. That makes him Facebook's fourth largest stockholder behind company CEO Mark Zuckerberg and two mutual funds, Fidelity Management and Vanguard.
Acton, who worked with Koum when they were both Yahoo Inc. engineers, owns 39.7 million Facebook shares worth $3 billion.
More than 45 other WhatsApp current and former employees also received Facebook stock. Yesterday's filing didn't specify how many shares most of the other employees received.
Besides the Facebook stock, Koum and Acton also were paid a large chunk of the $4.6 billion in cash that was included in the WhatsApp acquisition. The amount of cash that the WhatsApp founders received hasn't been disclosed.
Both Koum, 38, and Acton, 42, rank among the 200 richest people in the U.S, according to Forbes' rankings.