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How Facebook Is Sharing Risk With WhatsApp

By Daniel Sparks – Mar 2, 2014 at 8:00PM

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Facebook may be paying WhatsApp big money, but the small start-up will share some of the risk in the deal with Facebook.

Most headlines surrounding Facebook's (META 2.20%) announcement to purchase WhatsApp focus on just how big the purchase was. Nineteen billion is no joke -- especially for a 55-employee company. But what else is interesting about Facebook's arrangement to purchase WhatsApp is the way the deal was structured.

With approximately $15 billion of this $19 billion deal in the form of common shares and restricted stock units, Facebook is essentially sharing a large portion of the risk in this very speculative deal with WhatsApp. This is excellent news for Facebook investors because even though WhatsApp is clearly on its way to 1 billion users in the near future, the app only had an estimated $20 million in revenue in 2013. If Facebook were to pay $19 billion in cash in a deal like this, there would be far more risk for Facebook investors. Of course, the fact that Facebook shares have soared about 150% in the last 12 months is a nice bonus too.

In the following video, Fool contributor Daniel Sparks takes a closer look at how Facebook shared risk with WhatsApp in this massive deal.

Daniel Sparks has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of and Facebook. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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