Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing —listed as the world's ninth richest person in the worldby Forbes and a major player in the Canadian energy industry —hasmade a $60 million US investment in Facebook, according to a report.
Citing sources with knowledge of the transaction, All Things Digital blogger Kara Swisher reported Friday that thechairman of Cheung Kong Holdings Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. conglomerates found the social networking site's potential too big to resist.
Microsoft Corp.'s $240 million US investment in Facebook in Octobervaluedit at about $15 billion US, raising questions about whether the site would be able to find additional investors given its lofty valuation.
Li, 79,is not buying the Facebook stake through any of the companies he controls, but rather through another investment vehicle, the report said. He also has the right to makeanother $60 millionUS investment.
Somepotential investors, including Providence Equity Partners, have decided against investing in Facebook because of onerous requirements by the website.
Providence said that despite a major investment, it would nothavereceiveda seat on Facebook's board of directors, so the firm decided against taking a stake, the report said.
Microsoftand Li, on the other hand, agreed to that stipulation, Swisher wrote.
In October, Calgary-based TransAlta Power agreed to be taken over by Li's CheungKong company for about $629 million. Li also owns about 70 per cent of Calgary-based Husky Energy.
Solina Chau, the director of the Li Ka-shing Foundation, is a major stockholder in Tom.com, a media company in Chinathat Li's companies also have an interest in.
The report cited sources as saying that the tie-ins could give Facebook a leg up in China.