John Studzinski, senior managing director and global head at Blackstone Advisory Partners, told CNBC on Friday that while Facebook (FB)’s $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp is hard to justify, there is clearly value in the app’s 450 million user base.
“There is clearly value in those 450 million people, it’s a question of what value you put on it and what you are going to do with it,” he said.
During the interview Studzinski also said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and pointed out that Facebook’s buyout of WhatsApp was all down to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s vision.
“That expression, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You probably have to go back to some aspect of that. I can’t justify it but then again I don’t have Mark Zuckerberg’s vision, I don’t have his check book,” said Studzinski.
Facebook stunned the tech world last month when it announced the acquisition of the five-year old WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock. The Street was unimpressed with the deal, prompting FB’s pps to tumble nearly 4% at the time.
Facebook shares are up 38 cents, or 0.54% at $71.22 in pre-market trading Friday.