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3 Germans buy stake in Facebook

January 16, 2008|From Reuters

Three German Internet entrepreneurs and brothers have taken a stake in social networking site Facebook, Alexander Samwer said Tuesday.

Samwer, who declined to reveal the size of the stake, said the brothers now would become Facebook's strategic partners in Europe.

"We are going to support the expansion of Facebook in Europe. . . . We know the online space in Europe extremely well," Samwer said.

Though he wouldn't disclose the size of the investment, he said it was a "significant" amount but less than the $240 million Microsoft paid for a 1.6% stake in Facebook in October.

The Microsoft investment valued the site at $15 billion.

Alexander, with brothers Oliver and Marc, made their name in 1999 when they sold German Internet auction site Alando.de to EBay for $50 million in shares.

After a brief spell working for EBay, they then set up ring tone firm Jamba, which they sold to U.S. company VeriSign for $273 million in shares and cash in 2004.

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