People around the world will be focused on Facebook this morning as the social network offers its shares to the public for the first time. One company watching with particular interest will be Microsoft, which owns a 1.8 percent stake in Facebook based on a $240 million investment in 2007.
Microsoft owns 32.78 million shares of Facebook and plans to offer 6.5 million of those shares as part of the IPO, according to Facebook’s latest SEC filing. At $38 per share, that translates into about $250 million. The number could go up by about $37 million based on additional shares that Microsoft would offer if Facebook’s underwriters fully exercise their options to buy shares.
To put that in perspective, it amounts less than half of the $707 million in quarterly revenue Microsoft reported in its Online Services Division in the first quarter.
However, the real value in this investment has been the close ties it created between Microsoft and Facebook, as demonstrated by the Redmond company’s continued integration of Facebook into its Bing search engine. Just last week, Bing unveiled a new social sidebar that leans heavily on Facebook to help people find friends with expertise related to their searches.
Stay tuned for more on the Facebook IPO as it unfolds this morning.
Previously on GeekWire: Microsoft’s Facebook investment: Smartest deal Ballmer ever made?