RealTime IT News

Billionaire Ups Facebook Stake to $120M: Source

Social networking site Facebook has closed a second $60 million investment round with Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing through his foundation, a source familiar with the deal confirmed on Thursday.

The source said the deal, which boosts Li's holdings in Facebook to $120 million, including an earlier $60 million round late last year, is valued on the same $15 billion terms as a $240 million stake Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) took in October.

Li's investment was made by the Li Ka-shing Foundation. Li-backed companies such as Hutchison Whampoa and TOM Group were not involved, the source said.

The stake boosts Li's holdings to a 0.8 percent share of Facebook, while Microsoft's holds another 1.6 percent.

A Facebook spokesman declined to comment on Li's stake.

MarketWatch broke details of the story earlier out of Hong Kong, quoting Li as saying "I may raise my investment in Facebook -- anything is possible" during an earnings conference call for his company Hutchison Whampoa. But the report did not detail the scope of his investment.

Founded in 1980, the Li Ka-shing Foundation has focused on funding a variety of health, education and environmental projects in recent years.

In prior rounds dating back to 2004, Facebook has taken about $40.7 million from venture capital investors including PayPal co-founder and former CEO Peter Thiel along with Accel Partners, Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital Partners.