Fenwick & West is representing WhatsApp Inc., a rapidly growing cross-platform mobile messaging company, in its acquisition by Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), for a total of approximately $19 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares. The agreement also provides for an additional $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp’s founders and employees. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
With over 450 million users each month, WhatsApp has built a leading and rapidly growing real-time mobile message service. The acquisition supports Facebook and WhatsApp's shared mission to bring more connectivity and utility to the world by delivering core internet services efficiently and affordably.
Fenwick partner Sayre Stevick said of the deal, “Congratulations to WhatsApp on the largest private technology deal in history. Co-founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton transformed their vision into a cohesive team (a family, really) with unparalleled commitment to product integrity. They’re an inspiration to all budding entrepreneurs.”
The Fenwick transaction team representing WhatsApp was led by partners Sayre Stevick, Andrew Luh and Shawn Lampron. The corporate team included attorneys Derek Huoth, Amna Latif, Vishal Dave, Ryan Slunaker, Jordan Roberts and Adam Derry; executive compensation and employee benefits attorneys Marshall Mort, Kristin O'Hanlon, Grace Chen and Kelli Newman; tax attorneys Ronald Schrotenboer and William Skinner; and technology transactions attorneys Stephen Gillespie and Sophia Chen.