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Monday, January 24, 2011
Facebook Raises $1.5 Billion

Facebook today announced that it has received $1 Billion from Goldman Sachs. Digital Sky Technologies and Goldman Sachs also recently made $500 million direct investment, resulting to an overall value of Facebook at $50 billion.

The world's No. 1 social network said that the transaction consisted of two parts. Today, Goldman Sachs completed an oversubscribed offering to its non-U.S. clients in a fund that invested $1 billion in Facebook Class A common stock. In December, Digital Sky Technologies (DST), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., and funds managed by Goldman Sachs invested $500 million in Facebook Class A common stock at the same valuation.

"Our business continues to perform well, and we are pleased to be able to bolster our cash position with this new financing," said David Ebersman, Facebook?s chief financial officer. "With this investment completed, we now have greater financial flexibility to explore whatever opportunities lie ahead."

DST and Goldman Sachs approached Facebook to express their interest in making an investment, and Facebook considerd the move as "an attractive opportunity to bolster its cash reserves and increase its financial flexibility with limited dilution to existing shareholders."

Under the transaction's terms, Facebook had the option to accept between $375 million and $1.5 billion from the Goldman Sachs overseas offering, at the discretion of Facebook. While the offering was oversubscribed, Facebook made a business decision to limit the offering to $1 billion.

"There are no immediate plans for these funds. Facebook will continue investing to build and expand its operations," Facebook said in a statement.

United States securities regulations require companies with more than 499 shareholders to disclose financial information whether they are publicly traded or not. Facebook expects to exceed that number some time this year.

Facebook, founded in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, said it would begin to file public financial reports no later than April 30, 2012, in a statement detailing the new investment.

Facebook has more than 500 million users and is challenging big Web businesses like Google and Yahoo for users' time online and for advertising dollars.

Investors are increasingly eager to buy shares of Facebook and other fast-growing Internet social networking companies on private exchanges.

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