Facebook Inc, the world’s most popular social-networking service, plans to make about 15 acquisitions next year, accelerating its dealmaking pace as it seeks engineers who can help keep rivals at bay.
“They will be a mix of talent acquisitions, where we’re looking for people to run important parts of our product, who have a really strong vision,” Michael Brown, a corporate-development executive for Palo Alto, California-based Facebook, said at an event last week.
The acquisitions could be in social commerce, as well as mobile and local technology, Brown said, speaking at a panel discussion hosted by VentureArchetypes, a startup consulting firm. The six-year-old social-networking company also is focused on finding people who have leadership skills, he said.
Facebook, which has more than 500 million users, is enhancing features and advertising services to maintain its surging growth. The company’s popularity has helped propel this year’s sales to about US$2 billion, exceeding previous projections, three people familiar with the matter said this week. The site has vaulted to third in global users, behind Google Inc and Microsoft Corp, according to ComScore Inc, a research firm in Reston, Virginia.
The company is interested in pursuing larger, more complex deals, Facebook sirector of corporate development Vaughan Smith said earlier this year. Facebook has typically focused on acquisitions with 12 or fewer employees.
As of early August, the company had made five acquisitions this year. That followed one apiece last year and in 2007, and none in 2008.
Meanwhile, Facebook, Groupon Inc, Twitter Inc and other top venture-backed Web companies have seen their combined value rise 54 percent since June, as investors race to buy stakes in social-media startups, according to Nyppex LLC.
Facebook’s value, based on the prices institutions are bidding for privately held shares, has climbed 56 percent to US$41.2 billion as of Dec. 1, Nyppex said on Friday in a report. Groupon’s valuation quadrupled to US$4.8 billion, while Twitter more than doubled to US$3.71 billion.
Nyppex produced the research for money managers, venture funds and corporations that want a piece of Web startups, Nyppex managing member Laurence Allen said. He focuses on so-called secondary transactions — deals that involve buying stock from existing shareholders, including employees, rather than directly from the company.
Nyppex estimates that secondary-transaction volume will more than double this year to US$4.9 billion as companies delay initial public offerings.
Estimates of Facebook’s valuation can vary widely. A recent SharesPost auction pegged its worth at US$56.7 billion, the online marketplace said on Friday. The auction involved 165,000 shares at a price of US$25, according to the Santa Monica, California-based firm.
“You have an increasing number of wonderful companies that have already proven they have a lot of value,” said Eric Jackson, who co-founded CapLinked Inc last year to help private companies and investors connect online. “People naturally want a chance to invest in a company like that.”
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion