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Instagram has lost nearly $300 million in Facebook deal

August 20, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • A photo of Instagram's Facebook page, filtered through Instagram.
A photo of Instagram's Facebook page, filtered through Instagram. (Los Angeles Times )

Facebook's Instagram acquisition deal, once valued at $1 billion, has now lost nearly $300 million as Facebook's stock price has lost nearly half its value since its IPO, according to a report.

The deal, which was announced by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in April, is now worth about $735 million, and that's because Instagram did not negotiate to include any protections in its deal.

When the two companies agreed to the acquisition, the terms included giving Instagram $300 million in cash and the rest in shares — about 23 million of them.

That worked out well for Instagram in the month after the deal was announced. When the two sides agreed on the pact, they valued Facebook shares at $30 a share, and that price increased to $38 upon the company's IPO. The price went up to more than $40 during the first few hours of the stock's trading, but ever since, the price has generally just kept falling.

The deal could have worked out better for Instagram had the young start-up included a fail-safe or two, as the New York Times points out.

This could have included a protection called a floating share-exchange ratio that, no matter what, would have given Instagram a total number of shares to keep the deal at a nice $1 billion.

Instagram could have also included another protection called a stock collar, which could have kept the deal from increasing or decreasing about 5 or 10% either way — allowing for Instagram to pick up some of the gains should the stock improve while also protecting it from too much loss should the price fall, as it has.

But it seems that either inexperience or confidence that the stock price would keep increasing kept Instagram from better protecting the arrangement's value.

The deal, however, has yet to receive final approval. British regulators OKd it last week, but it still awaits approval from U.S. regulators.

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