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Facebook's $19B for WhatsApp: Another Angle

Facebook’s $19 billion WhatsApp acquisition is still causing sticker shock. And a whole host of pundits have weighed in on the value of the deal.

But one thing missing from the extensive analysis is how Facebook is actually shelling out the money. The answer makes the numbers less intimidating and could be a harbinger of the structure of tech deals to come.

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Facebook had only been public for a year and nine months when it agreed to acquire WhatsApp. But it spent its final years as a private company putting together a strong financial team led by former Genentech chief financial officer David Ebersman, who had helped sell that company to Roche Holdings in a complicated $46 billion transaction. Facebook has ambitions to play in the big leagues alongside Google, and being a financially savvy dealmaker is one way to get there.

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Joe Lonsdale
Joe Lonsdale
Founding Partner, Eight
Chamath Palihapitiya
Chamath Palihapitiya
Founder & Managing Partner, SocialCapital
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Tina Sharkey
CEO, Brandless
Jonah Peretti
Jonah Peretti
CEO, Buzzfeed
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Adam D'Angelo
CEO, Quora
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Brit Morin
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Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Asana
Christina Miller
Christina Miller
President & General Manager, Turner
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Max Levchin
CEO, Affirm
Adam Mosseri
Adam Mosseri
Director of Product, Facebook
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Alex Mather
The Athletic
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Martha Josephson
Partner, Egon Zehnder
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James Murdoch
Co-Chief Operating Officer, 21st Century Fox
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Andrew Kortina
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Ben Chestnut
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Ruchi Sanghvi
Ruchi Sanghvi
VP Operations, Dropbox
"We’ll see more of a stock mix in deals or even deals contingent on more complex financings," says Rob Fisher of PricewaterhouseCoopers.