Confirmed: Facebook accepts $200 million investment from Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies

Confirmed: Facebook accepts $200 million investment from Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies

logo_facebookWe informed you last week that Russian investment group, Digital Sky Technologies (DST), were eyeing a $200 million investment in Facebook.

Facebook has confirmed an offer of $200 million had in fact been made, and today they have now officially accepted it. The exchange will see Facebook give up  1.96 percent of the company, valuing the social network at $10 billion. The company also has plans to purchase an additional $100 million in common stock, a move that will help help Facebook employees cash out some of their current shares.

As yet there is no confirmation as to whether DST have also gained a board seat as part of the deal.

Below is the press release:

PALO ALTO, Calif., May 26 /PRNewswire/ — Facebook today announced that Digital Sky Technologies (DST), one of the leading internet investment groups globally with significant stakes in Eastern European and Russian internet businesses, has made a $200 million investment in Facebook in exchange for preferred stock, representing a 1.96 percent equity stake at a $10 billion valuation.

In addition, DST has indicated that it is planning to offer to purchase at least $100 million of Facebook common stock from existing common stockholders that would facilitate liquidity for current and former employees’ vested shares in the company. The details of the plan are expected to be announced to eligible participants during the summer. Consistent with Facebook’s practice with other recent investors, DST will not be represented on the Facebook board or hold special observer rights.

“This investment demonstrates Facebook’s ongoing success at creating a global network for people to share and connect,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “We’ve worked hard to bring more than 200 million people – 70 percent outside of the U.S. – onto Facebook to share with friends, family and co-workers. A number of firms approached us, but DST stood out because of the global perspective they bring – backed up by the impressive growth and financial achievements of their internet investments. We’re looking forward to working with the DST team.”

“Our investment experience in other regions reveals the tremendous value social networking companies create as they redefine how people communicate and interact,” said Yuri Milner, chief executive of DST. “By every important metric – user growth and engagement, technological innovation and financial performance – Facebook is on a similar trajectory, though on a much more global scale. We’re delighted to invest in Facebook, Mark and his management team as they make the world more open and connected.”

Based in London and Moscow, DST is a well-respected investor in a number of successful internet companies, holding significant interests in Russia and Eastern Europe, such as Mail.ru, Forticom and vKontakte. DST’s main assets account for over 70 percent of all page views in the Russian-speaking internet and its social networks are the market leaders in more than 13 countries, addressing a combined population of more than 350 million.

DST is run by its three partners who have complementary backgrounds in operations, investments and finance: Yuri Milner, previously CEO of Mail.ru, the #1 Russian language website; Gregory Finger, previously head of the Moscow office of NCH, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund; and Alexander Tamas, previously co-head of internet and software coverage in EMEA for the Investment Banking Division of Goldman Sachs. With its advanced understanding of opportunities in technology and social media, DST is a good fit for Facebook and an insightful partner that can help unlock additional growth opportunities.

This is breaking news, we will update it with more info as and when we hear it.

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