The Facebook IPO Players Club: Li Ka-shing

They were doing just fine before, but Facebook's biggest minority owners are about to be catapulted into a far more elite bracket. Li Ka-shing looks set to spend the extra millions he'll earn all around the globe.

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Who he is: Sir Li Ka-shing is a Chinese businessman based in Hong Kong, currently chairman of Hutchison Wampoa Limited and Cheung Kong Holdings. In 2010 the companies he manages were worth about 15% of the entire Hong Kong stock market, which qualifies Ka-shing as a magnate of epic proportions, rather than a mere businessman. He's commonly considered Asia's most powerful man, has the nickname Superman, and like many powerful figures associated with Facebook, he's a a dropout, having left school at 15 (though that led to 16-hour work days at a plastics company). A serial tech investor, he's philanthropic to the extent he thinks of his charity, the Li Ka-shing Foundation as his "third son." Through it he's already given away over $1.4 billion.

What's his connection with Facebook?: In 2007 Ka-shing poured some $120 million into Facebook for a 0.8% share at the company's then valuation of $15 billion. 

What he's currently worth: Ka-shing may be the best example ever of nominative determinism--the notion that your name decides your career. He's considered the 11th richest man in the world with an estimated worth of $22 billion in 2011. Ka-ching, indeed.

What Facebook's IPO will bring: A 0.8% stake in a Facebook worth $85 billion at IPO would equate to $680 million for Ka-shing.

What he may do with the money: Invest, acquire, give it away, dive into piles of it à la Scrooge McDuck: The new value is equivalent to just 3% of his current riches.

UPDATE

What he'll make at IPO: A 0.75% stake (what Ka-shing now seems to own) at IPO will convert to $750 million at a valuation of $100 billion.

What he'll do with it: Ka-shing has recently been in the news thanks to a number of high-profile financial moves. Last week his company Hutchinson Wampoa made a bid for Irish telecom firm Eircom with $2.6 billion on the table, and this week revealed plans to list the first yuan-denominated real estate investment firm in Singapore. There are rumblings that his Chinese enterprise Parknshop, cornerstone of his business fortune, may be suffering due to strengthening competition in the Chinese retail sector...so perhaps some of his money will go toward adjusting this business.

 

 

Read about others in the Facebook IPO Players Club:

 

[Image via Li Ka Shing Foundation]

Chat about this news with Kit Eaton on Twitter and Fast Company too.

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