Blog Post

Report: Appraisal Set Facebook Value At $3.7 Billion

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

imageA Facebook appraisal discussed in court last summer put the value of the social network at $3.7 billion, a far cry from the $15 billion valuation based on Microsoft’s 2007 investment. The info comes from the Associated Press in a report that explains how it cracked the electronic versions of blacked-out court documents. According to AP, the appraisal, which was used to set the value of employee stock options, came up during a closed court hearing in a lawsuit by former classmates of Mark Zuckerberg’s who claimed he stole their idea.

Facebook lawyers argued that the appraisal of its common stock couldn’t be compared to Microsoft’s $240 million payment for 1.6 percent of preferred stock. At stake: the basis for a settlement with Divya Narendra and twins Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, founders of social net ConnectU. According to AP, the settlement called for $20 million in cash and 1,253,326 shares of common stock; by Facebook’s internal math, the common stock was worth $11 million compared with $45 million at the Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) value. That would make the settlement worth anywhere from $31 million to $65 million.

The Microsoft-Facebook deal was similar to Google’s $1 billion payment for 5 percent of AOL (NYSE: TWX) to help the Time Warner unit get a value of of $20 billion. Google (NSDQ: GOOG) wrote that down by some two-thirds last month, then acted on a clause allowing it to demand repayment at fair market value or for an IPO.

In an odd piece of symmetry, the lawsuit is in the news for another reason: legal pub The Recorder reported that Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, the law firm representing the twins, published a brochure bragging about the $65 million settlement obtained in the case. Tiny problem — the amount was supposed to be confidential. Also, the law firm was no longer working for twins when the judge finalized the settlement and is now in a fee dispute.

Earlier today, we reported on mocoNews.net about Facebook’s possible app deal with *Nokia*. The status of it? “It’s complicated”…