Last week Facebook announced it had bought photo sharing site Instagram for $1 billion. Details about how the deal was closed were revealed by Wall Street Journal, and they're quite extraordinary. Turns out Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom's original asking price was $2 billion, the negotiations were done in Zuckerberg's living room over a three day period, as Zuckerberg kept everyone out of the loop because he was afraid that going through lawyers and bankers would have turned Systrom off.
Zuck apparently phoned Systrom on Thursday, April 5, after talking to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and telling her he wanted to buy the company. He reached out directly because he was afraid that going through lawyers, as is normally done with big M&A deals, would have turned Systrom off.
Systrom drove from his home in San Francisco to Zuckerberg's house in Palo Alto repeatedly over the next three days, hammering out a deal. Zuck only told the board of directors about it on Sunday, April 8.
A great tidbit: Facebook board member Marc Andreessen was sitting in Zuckerberg's living room waiting for one of his regular meetings with the CEO when Systrom walked out. Andreessen, who invested $250,000 into Instagram early on, was surprised to see him there.
Zuckerberg had tried to buy Instagram the previous summer and was determined to make a new move to acquire the firm after Instagram announced a $50 million round of venture funding that valued the service at $500 million.
News also hit the wire that Facebook's IPO may go through on May 17th, if the SEC agrees that all paperwork is in order. TechCrunch heard Facebook will be valued at around $100 billion, with 2.51 billion fully-diluted shares outstanding this would price the company at around $40 a share.