FutureFive NZ - US$16 billion Facebook acquisition or Air Reward Points…?

Warning: This story was published more than a year ago.

US$16 billion Facebook acquisition or Air Reward Points…?

There's a fine line between genius and insanity, right?

Well for WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, when it came to finalising that mega-bucks $16 billion Facebook deal, the saying couldn’t be more applicable.

The man heading the deal has revealed the acquisition hung in the balance after he refused to miss a flight because it was booked with Air Reward Points.

A deal organised around a plane ticket he couldn’t change because it was booked with rewards points, Koum refused to budge when it came to closing the multi-billion dollar deal, telling popular travel forum Flyertalk:

“We announced the deal with Facebook on wednesday after the market closed,” he posted.

“During the process, we realized there was a chance we might not be able to get the deal wrapped up and signed on wednesday and it could delay.

“When the risk of the delay became real, i said: "if we don't get it done on wednesday, it probably wont get done. i have tickets on thursday to fly out to Barcelona which i bought with miles and they are not easily refundable or even possible to change. this has to be done by wednesday or else!!!"

“…and so one of the biggest deals in tech history had to be scheduled around my M&M award ticket :)”

Koum’s somewhat unbelievable story has taken the tech industry by storm, with the 38-year-old Ukrainian insisting he prefers “using miles when I can to save company money.”

“As you know, award ticket inventory is limited and last minute changes are nearly impossible... and this is where it gets cute…”

Luckily for Koum, or maybe not given his refreshingly carefree attitude to life, Facebook did reach a definitive agreement to acquire WhatsApp for a total of approximately $16 billion, including $4 billion in cash and approximately $12 billion worth of Facebook shares.

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