Friday, February 3, 2012

Vincent Tan awaits Facebook IPO windfall (PIC)

Tan is said to have 3.5 million shares in Facebook
His stake in the social networking service company may be worth RM420m

PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Vincent Tan is definitely going to “like” the much anticipated Facebook Inc initial public offering (IPO) as his stake in the world's largest social networking service company could be worth as much as RM420mil.

MOL Global Bhd, which is controlled by Tan, is said to have 3.5 million shares in Facebook and assuming the IPO price is set at US$40 a piece, this would translate to US$140mil (RM420mil), and even more after the listing. sources said.

However, the amount is still an estimated value as Facebook has yet to reveal its share price information and its valuation is still speculative.

Facebook has been discussing raising as much as US$10bil, making the IPO the biggest Internet or technology IPO the market has ever seen.

“With the outstanding shares of Facebook of about 1.88 billion, the stake of MOL does not even come close to 1%,” said the source.

Given the share base of Facebook, MOL Global's stake represents about 0.19% of the social networking service.

MOL Global is currently the payment partner for Facebook, as well as with game developer Zynga, which made its name through popular social games such as Farmville.

MOL Global first got its hands on the stake in Facebook in 2010 when it sold off the patents of Friendster, the world's first social networking site, to Facebook.

As part of the deal, it received 700,000 shares in Facebook which subsequently increased to 3.5 million shares last year after Facebook initiated a 5-for-1 split of the company's shares.

MOL Global made global headlines when it acquired Friendster for US$39mil in 2008, after winning the bid in an open tender against Chinese game and instant messaging company Tencent and other bidders.

According to regulatory filings for the US IPO, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg currently has a 28.4% stake in his company, with about 533.8 million shares.

The company said it conducted its own valuation of its stock at the end of each quarter, and as of Dec 31, it had determined its shares to be worth US$29.73 a piece.

In 2011, Facebook pocketed about US$1bil on a revenue of US$3.7bil with over 845 million monthly active users. In 2010, it made US$606mil.

The company's main revenue are derived from advertising, while another US$557mil came from payments, with most of the non-advertising funds coming from social-gaming partner Zynga.

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